Research and Analytics
CIPFA Personal Social Services Estimates Statistics
This statistical booklet relating to Personal Social Services contains details of estimated expenditure and income for 2000-01 together with non-financial data which in total provide a substantive analysis of the different activities for local authorities in England, Wales and Scotland. This is the sixth publication to reflect CIPFA's revised standard classification for social services which applies to published financial statements for financial periods beginning on or after 1st April 1993 for England and Wales and 1st April 1994 for Scotland.
During 1998 the SIS Personal Social Services Working Party made some amendments to the format of the information requested from authorities. The changes were made in response to comments made by users of the statistics. The key objective remains that of obtaining more meaningful unit cost information to assist with the purchasing role.
The significant changes are as follows:
- Data for Home Care Services, Meals, Equipment and Adaptations are now analysed in a new section for 'Generic Services'.Social Services Management and Support Services is now charged directly or fully apportioned to the appropriate division of services.
All clients are included in only one client group. Where difficulty arises in identifying the appropriate client group, the primary cause for social services involvement is used for the classification of adult clients. For children with disabilities it is likely that they would be included in the children and families division.
The Children Act 1989
The Children Act 1989 requires local authorities to take appropriate steps to identify 'children in need'. This is defined as those children who require local authority services in order to achieve and maintain a reasonable standard of health and development.
The main requirements include:
- authorities must maintain a register of carers for children under the age of 8 years.authorities are to charge a fee for this registration and for annual inspection.authorities must provide a range of services for young people no longer being looked after, including advice and information, a 'befriending' service and assistance in cash or in kind.
The National Health Service and Community Care Act 1990
The National Health Service and Community Care Act 1990, has significantly changed the role of social workers in community care and, in particular, has increased the emphasis on flexible packages of care for people within the community, packages which are bought by social workers on behalf of their clients from a range of providers.
Therefore, there is a need for a more rigorous treatment of overhead costs to ensure that the full costs of care are identified.
With effect from 1st April 1994, local authorities in England, Wales and Scotland were expected to adopt a new system of capital accounting designed to promote accountability for the use of scarce resources and to improve asset management. Authorities are required to compile an asset register of all their capital assets and calculate a capital charge for the use of those assets.
Since 1997-98 Capital Charges have been included as part of Gross Expenditure whereas in previous years they were excluded.
Service Strategy and Regulation
SSR comprises only costs which would remain if there were no directly managed services. It relates only to statutory duties specific to social services and excludes the statutory duties of the authority to provide services to specific client groups. SSR comprises the staff, accommodation and services needed to support the following activities performed at the minimum level that would be necessary 9 an authority had no direct management responsibilities for social services:
- Meetings of the statutory social services committeeDirector of social servicesPreparation of the social services budgetRegistration and Inspection UnitComplaints procedureStrategic information, research and planningLiaison with outside bodies for strategic planning purposes
People With Mental Health Needs
Staff, clients and costs relating to alcohol, drugs or solvent abuse are also included here on the basis that there is generally an underlying mental problem which causes the behaviour. Similarly, AIDS / HIV initiatives are likely to involve a high proportion of counselling and so would most logically fall under mental health needs unless the prime reason for social services involvement is unrelated to the illness.
Social Services Management and Support Services
Support services are those which support the direct provision of services to the public (whether by the authority or by other providers). They are supplied to assist direct providers of services to the public in carrying out their main functions and assist care purchasers in obtaining care from providers, both from within and outside a local authority. Support services may be supplied in a variety of ways - for example by staff of the social services department itself, by other departments of the local authority or by outside bodies.
Ultimately all costs accounted for under SSMSS should be fully apportioned to other divisions of service, either by means of an apportionment or a charge.
Comparisons with previous years' statistics are not strictly comparable as financial information since 1994-95 is reported at Outturn prices, whereas estimates statistics for 1993-94 and earlier years were compiled using the November price base.
Since 1995-96, income from Community Care Transitional Grant and other specific grants have been excluded from the analysis of expenditure for each client group. The total amount received in respect of specific grants is shown at Column 13. In previous years specific grants have been included throughout the publication within the provider analyses.
As previoulsy mentioned, this year Capital Charges are included as part of Gross Expenditure whereas in previous years they are excluded.
A detailed examination of the statistics will show that the level of involvement of individual authorities in particular activities varies widely, thereby reflecting local need, policies and problems that may have been encountered.
Readers are requested to exercise caution when making comparisons between authorities as certain items are treated in a variety of ways. For example, the level of support services allocated directly, rather than by recharges, varies considerably. Similarly, many authorities make payments to the private and voluntary sector net of income and some authorities have been unable to fully analyse their Capital Charges.
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