The Black Country Branch of the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) invited me to a hustings event at Wolverhampton University on Thursday, 19 February.
Social workers play an essential and often unrecognized role in the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in our society. For individuals and families who come into contact with them, the services and guidance they provide can be essential, providing guidance, support, and access to vital services.
Nothing is more important than promoting the welfare of vulnerable people and protecting them from harm. I am pleased action has been taken to reform the care system to enable professionals to do their best for vulnerable people and their families. As well as additional funding for care, I am delighted that the Government has also acknowledged the support carers, and especially unpaid carers, provide to adults who need care. The Care Act 2014 gives carers new rights that put them on the same footing as the people they care for and requires local authorities to provide comprehensive information on care services in their local area. Alongside this, the Government has increased the Carer's Allowance and the number of hours carers can work while still claiming the allowance.
I also believe that the Government is right to grant independence to the Care Quality Commission, enabling it to better regulate adult social care. With the new statutory duty of candour, I am in no doubt that the Government's comprehensive reform will improve the quality and accountability of adult social care.