New youth law bad for families and workers: union

New legislation which will see councils taking over responsibility for youth social work will fail both problem families and those working in the system, according to research published on Tuesday.

The government wants to shift responsibility for youth care to councils in 2015, but a survey by civil service union Abvakabo says this is too soon.

Councils are not yet ready according to 79% of respondents, and 53% say their own organisation needs more time.

Vulnerable youngsters

The union says the shift is ‘undesirable’, but if it does go ahead, it must be done with care. Otherwise the quality and continuity of care for vulnerable youngsters cannot be guaranteed.

Most respondents to the survey also think care quality will vary between councils, which will make their own decisions on how to spend the care budget.

‘The wealth of a council will define what sort of care is available,’ the union told Nos news.

The new legislation will be discussed in parliament on Thursday.