Reverse the privatisation of 'child social services'

Posted on 05-12-18 by Hussain Qader Number of votes: 0 | Number of comments: 1

Everyone knows that social services, like most areas of the public sector, has been badly hit by austerity cuts. What many don't know is as well as facing a shortage of funding many social services are being privatised/financialised (e.g. growing presence of foreign hedgefunds). One aspect of this (highlighted well in the below mentioned link) is that more then 50% of UK children's home are owned by private companies, another is that private 'employment agencies' are skimming off money allocated to them by County Council's to recruit social services employees like social workers & social care workers.

 

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/dec/05/private-firms-making-big-money-childrens-social-services

 

The growing presence of these private bodies looking for a financial return means that even if the government reverses austerity on social services the cost would grow because the private sector firms that run such services must gurantee a 'financial return' for their 'investors' (e.g. predatory hedgefunds) which means unless the UK's social services are both 'de-financialised' as well as have it's pre-austerity spending return social services in the UK will always face a funding crisis.

 

Therefore to address this problem I propose that Labour:

 

1) Commit to reversing 'wholesale' (i.e. the entire social services) the privatisation of UK social services especially the provision of 'child social services'. 

 

2) Commit to nationalising all foster homes as well as ending the use of private employment agencies (which btw are preventing many social care workers recieving a 'living wage') in social services by County Councils.

 

3) Investigate how social services can be 'de-financialised' & much of it's services be brought back 'in house' (i.e re-nationalised) as well as whether County Council's should be given powers to 're-nationalise' services (& that assets - e.g. care home for OAPs or foster homes for children) that were formerly publicly owned & publicly run.

 

4) That compensations for those 'compulsory buy-outs' be, like the re-purchase of PFI contracts in the NHS, entirely defined by parliament.

 

5) Investigates how this policy can be implemented quickly & cheaply without incurring protracted legal wrangling over such compulsory purchases & whether further privatisation (as well as outsourcing?) of UK social services be banned as well as investigate whether employment standards in social services & emotional well-being of children in social services has deteriorated as a result of the 'financialisation' of social services.

 

6) Investigate whether the management of all UK social service institutions (e.g. Care Homes & Foster Homes) should be re-structured on 'social democratic' lines (e.g their land & residential halls treated as a 'commons' that cannot be sold) as well as whether it's staff & relatives of it's users should be elected to it's executive board & if whether all UK social service providers (e.g. care for elderly & vulnerable children) should be forced into becoming 'co-ops' so as to return their democratic character & to also 'de-financialise' (e.g. end the presence of hedgefunds, outsourcing & precarious employment) the UK social service system.

 

7) Iinvestigate how the issues (e.g. privatisation via ' forced academisation') raised in 1-7 directly affects social care provision (e.g. for OAPs & children) in marginal parliamentary seats & have this material pertinently highlighted (e.g. how affects their relative) by Labour in those constituencies (i.e. on social media, on the doorstep & in the local press of that marginal parliamentary seat).

 

8) Investigate how the material generated from policy proposals 1-7 can be harmonised with Labour's current social care policies & in particular it's policy to create a 'National Social Care Service'.

 

 

Referring to: Early Years, Education and Skills

The Early Years, Education and Skills Policy Commission looks at issues relating to children’s wellbeing, development and care, as well as education training and skills from childhood through adulthood.

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