Friday, September 25, 1998 Published at 04:52 GMT 05:52 UK
Care revolution revealed
Care home residents are set to get a charter of rights
The government is planning the most radical shake-up of social services in England and Wales for 30 years, the BBC has discovered.
It proposes that the government sets national priorities and standards, including the level of charges made by councils for services such as home helps.
The government also wants to set up what it calls a General Social Care Council to regulate and improve the training of care workers.
The new body would establish registers of professional social workers as well as staff in children's homes.
Responding to the BBC's reports on the White Paper, the President of the Association of Directors of Social Services, Roy Taylor, welcomed the plans for the social care council and the independent inspection of homes.
One of the biggest challenges, he said, would be to eradicate the inconsistent levels of care across England and Wales.
Those plans, unveiled on Monday, include the introduction of national guidelines on how social services departments should deal with children in care and extending their responsibilities to 18-year-olds.
The BBC's Social Affairs Editor Niall Dickson says the proposals in the White Paper would mean greater central control of social services.
However, it is clear that ministers believe this approach is necessary to restore public confidence in services that have been much criticised in recent years.