Proposed cuts in Warwickshire
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In these times of austerity, with increased pressures on local authorities to make savings from the public purse, support services offering help to the most vulnerable find themselves in the firing line.
Support services help to prevent admission to more expensive services and help individuals to build on their strengths, enabling them to become independent. These short-term interventions help people in many ways –whether it’s getting back into work, budgeting more effectively or helping vulnerable people to contribute to their local communities – and without them there may be an increased pressure on the budgets of already stretched statutory services.
Warwickshire County Council is currently holding a public consultation after announcing proposals to cut almost half of the funding for housing related support services, those aimed at preventing homelessness and improving the ability of vulnerable customers to live independently in the community.
The proposed cuts will impact customers with learning disabilities, mental health issues, physical disabilities and sensory impairments; it will also affect the services on offer to older people, young parents and those leaving care.
In addition, the cuts would also see currently funded contracts completely end for homeless people (families and singles), adult and young offenders, gypsies and travellers and anyone who needs generic housing support.
Generic support refers to inclusive and flexible services delivered to anyone based upon their individual needs, catering for those who cannot be neatly categorised into a specific client group. Such services are aimed at supporting individuals based upon their need and do not exclude them due to age and gender etc...
The budget available for housing related support will be reduced from £8.6m to £4.6m and to achieve this WCC is proposing that services should only be available to those people who are eligible for support through Fair Access to Care Services (FACS) or who are ‘on the edge of care’. Bearing in mind that only around 9% of the customers signed up across Warwickshire last year met this criteria there could be worrying times ahead for many vulnerable people.
The consultation ends on 28 November 2014 and everyone who delivers or relies on support services in Warwickshire are being encouraged to take the opportunity to have their say on this vitally important issue - click here to have your say.
The infographic shows the impact the proposed cuts to generic services will have on the amount of new spaces available for customers needing support in Warwickshire.
Click here to hear a short interview with Bromford’s insight manager, Richard Haynes talking on BBC Coventry and Warwickshire where he talks about the impact these cuts could have on vulnerable people throughout Warwickshire