ADASS reports social care faces “most challenging year”

ADASS, the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, is warning that the year ahead will be the most challenging for adult social care and the people needing and working in it have ever faced. 

Their Spring Budget Survey found inflation and a labour market crisis were expected to add to long-term pressures caused by austerity and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Responding to the publication of the ADASS Spring Survey 2022, Sarah McClinton, ADASS President, said:  

“Adult social care has long been in a fragile state, but growing economic turbulence is rapidly deepening our problems and concerns. We are at the centre of the storm. Those who need or work in care are amongst the most exposed to the cost-of-living crisis.

“A growing number of Directors tell us that they have never been more concerned than they are about the winter to come. We need action and funding now to support recovery in social care, just as in the NHS, and build firmer foundations for the reforms we all want to see.”

Some of the key findings from the report:

  • 87% of Directors report increased requests and referrals because of mental health issues and 67% because of domestic abuse safeguarding concerns.

  • 73% of directors report rising numbers of referrals and requests because of breakdown of unpaid carer arrangements.

  • 49% of Directors are not confident that unpaid carers will be able to cope financially with the cost-of-living crisis and 75% believe that this will result in increased need for social care.

  • 83% of council areas have seen an increase in the size of care packages due to increased complexity of need.

  • 91% of Directors citing workforce recruitment and retention as a major driver of costs in care at home, and 85% for residential and nursing care.