The Social Care Association (SCA) and its sister organisation the Social Care Association (Education) have announced they are to close because they do not have the funds to continue.
The SCA had been the independent voice of the social care workforce since 1949 and had campaigned and acted to promote high quality social care for children and adults.
In recent years, the SCA had kept its membership fees modest, reflecting the low pay of most social care staff. To keep going it had relied on training and consultancy work, never having been given any government funding, and had lived a “hand-to-mouth” manner for many years.
A statement by Liz Taylor, chair of the SCA and Richard Banks, chair of SCA Education, said that over the past few years, cuts in spending have meant that staff training has been severely restricted. In seeking paid work the SCA found itself competing with Government-funded organisations that are dealing with their own financial difficulties by offering training, consultancy and recently membership.
The statement added that Government has not accepted suggestions and bids for development work on sustainable improvement to social care services.
Taylor and Banks added: “Now, despite the magnificent efforts of the staff led by Nick Johnson, we have to accept that closure is the only course available.
“It is of particular sadness that this is happening at a time when social care for children and adults really needs well informed independent action free from fluster and posturing.”
In a final broadside, the statement said there had been on-going reluctance of the Government in England to “back words with action and to recognise and properly support the staff in the social care sector.”
Taylor and Banks added that while professional registration is being introduced in other parts of the UK and the rewards are beginning to emerge as staff take on responsibility for their own competence. “In England there is no prospect of registration despite legislation being passed in 2000, we think that the general public will be shocked to understand that such staff are not required to be properly professionally registered.”
The British Association of Social Workers and the College of Social Work have offered to take members who fulfil their conditions.
“We hope and intend that the core aims of the association will be picked up and carried forward.” Taylor and Banks concluded.