South Scotland

Dumfries and Galloway Council faces social work 'challenge'

Dumfries and Galloway Council
Image caption The social work department at the council is facing a deficit of about £205,000

The chairman of a council social work committee has said the authority faces a "challenge" in finding the resources to meet demand for its services.

Andy Ferguson was speaking after a report showed a rise in the deficit facing the Dumfries and Galloway Council department to £205,000.

Savings of some £1.1m also need to be found by March next year.

Mr Ferguson said he believed the fact that services were working well could create extra budget pressures.

He said finances could always be put under strain by surges in demand.

"We cannot give guarantees - we do not know what is going to come through the door," he said.

"There was an increase in children, for example, who have been diagnosed on the autistic spectrum.

"We are identifying earlier and dealing with earlier the problems that some children have."

He said better awareness, improved working between agencies and early identification had to be a "positive thing".

"It does create a challenge for the politicians in how we actually get the resources to meet that need," he added.

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