Section 76: Introductory
187.This section places a duty on the CSCI to encourage improvement in the provision of local authority social services in England. It provides that in exercising its functions in respect of local authority social services, the CSCI will be concerned in particular with the availability, access, quality, effectiveness, management, economy and efficiency of these services, and also have regard to the need to promote and safeguard the rights and welfare of children and should consider in particular how local authorities are doing this. Subsection 2(e) also places a duty upon CSCI to be concerned with the availability and quality of information provided to the public about social care services. This applies to general information that is not specific to individual service users, such as leaflets about the different social care services that are available and telephone helpline services.
188.The Act defines English local authority social services at section 148. The definition of English local authority social services in the Act includes both local authority social services as defined in the Local Authority Social Services Act 1970 (“LASS Act”) and services provided under local authorities’ broad discretionary power under section 2(1)(b) of the Local Government Act 2000 where those services are similar to local authority social services as defined in the LASS Act.
189.Local authority social services are defined in the LASS Act as services provided under the enactment specified in Schedule 1 to that Act. Examples of local authority social services are child protection services, support services to elderly people to enable them to stay in their own homes and the provision of special equipment to help disabled people with their daily living needs. Section 2(1)(b) of the 2000 Act provides local authorities with a broad discretionary power to provide services calculated to improve the wellbeing of people in their area.