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Social care subsidised by charities

3rd September 2008

Leading charities say they are having to use donated money to help provide services for councils.

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Charitable organisations are paid to provide a range of social care services for English local authorities in care homes and with home support but they say that the money they receive is not enough.

The charity umbrella group the Social Care Employers Consortium polled 26 organisations and found that almost two thirds were concerned about the level of funding and feared the situation was getting worse.

Charities said the shortfall was forcing them to dip into donations, which is not supposed to happen under Charity Commission guidelines.

Consortium chairman Clare Smith said: "Voluntary organisations should not be expected to subsidise public services that benefit millions of families.

"On behalf of staff and service users we call on the government to live up to their promise to address this crisis. It needs to invest more money in social care, reduce unfair competition for staff and raise the status of social care work."

She said care assistants working for the voluntary sector were paid £243 a week, which is less than council refuse workers.

However, the Local Government Association claimed allowances for anti-social hours took weekly pay over £400 though the chairman of its community wellbeing board, Councillor David Rogers, conceded there were problems.

He said: “Town halls are already campaigning for an adult social care system which addresses the problems of under-funding and unfairness."

Reforms of social care funding are due to be published by the government next year.

 

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