Archives for February 1st, 2006

COUNCILLOR MENTORING

Abstracts, PublicNet: 1 February, 2006

The National Councillor Mentoring programme is an innovative National Programme for councillors, focusing particularly on those new to their job – either newly elected, those who have taken up a position on the executive or are new leaders. The programme has been established to support and build political leadership capacity within local authorities. It offers a range of peer mentoring activities that will continue to build capacity and support increased role effectiveness and performance of councillors at all levels.Investing in mentoring is seen as a prime means of building political capacity, to support the process of recovery and improvement in local government. The programme seeks to complement existing leadership and member development work and other learning strategies within the council. It also aims to increase training development, information and support tailored to meet the particular challenges that face young councillors, women councillors and councillors from minority ethnic groups.

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VIEWS SOUGHT ON MINIMUM PAYMENT FOR FOSTER CARERS

Headlines, PublicNet: 1 February, 2006

Social services staff and foster carers are being asked for their views as part of a consultation on proposals to set a national minimum allowance for foster parents for the first time. The plan is part of a series of measures to improve support for carers and is designed to lead to a fairer system of payments across the country.Children’s Minister Maria Eagle said she recognised the progress that local authorities and fostering agencies had made in improving allowances in recent years but she added, “There is still significant variation across the country, with pockets of low payments that cannot be explained simply by regional differences in the cost of living.” She wanted to see fairer payments and more clarity about entitlements for foster carers, regardless of where they lived. Foster carers, she said, fulfilled a unique and invaluable role, providing the security of a family home for vulnerable children with varied and complex needs.

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FREE PERSONAL CARE HAS ‘MARGINAL IMPACT ON PUBLIC SPENDING’ IN SCOTLAND

Headlines, PublicNet: 1 February, 2006

Scotland’s policy of providing free personal care for older people has led to a fairer system without any undue extra public spending, according to an independent assessment carried out for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and published today. The Scottish Parliament decided in 2001 that elderly people could have free care at home and in residential and nursing homes.Researchers from the University of Stirling say people who use care services in Scotland and their families feel the arrangements are more equitable and an improvement on the past. The view is shared by social care managers in Scottish local authorities and care home providers. The study also finds that the system has not only reduced means-testing and money worries but it has not led to a reduction in informal support provided by relatives and friends as some people feared it might.

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