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Funding for charities

13/01/2010

Voluntary care organisations across Scotland are to receive funding to help meet the cost of staff training and development, Minister for Children and Early Years Adam Ingram announced today.

A total of 67 organisations throughout the country will receive a share of approximately £900,000 being distributed by the Voluntary Sector Development Fund. Those benefitting include housing associations, care groups as well as charities helping armed forces veterans.

Mr Ingram said:

"The Scottish Government is committed to investing in and improving the skills of Scotland's people, particularly in these difficult economic times, so that they can develop to their full potential and contribute to our economic recovery when the time comes.

"I'm therefore delighted to be able to announce almost £1 million for voluntary sector social care training across Scotland to help develop the skills of staff working in that field, many of whom work in small or medium sized organisations.

"This will improve the professionalism of that workforce and ensure staff achieve the necessary qualifications to register with the Scottish Social Services Council and equip them to work more effectively with people who need their help and support."

The fund enables a range of staff to undergo training in order to meet the registration standards set by the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC).

An evaluation of this year's applications, carried out by the Voluntary Sector Social Services Workforce Unit, shows encouraging progress is being made with more than 40 per cent of the voluntary sector workforce now qualified.

Celia Carson, Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) Policy Manager (Skills and workforce), said:

"Without the Voluntary Sector Development Fund (VSDF) many small and medium third sector organisations, whose work is absolutely vital for those needing care services in communities, would find it impossible to meet the costs of training and would be unable to ensure their staff are qualified and registered.

"The fund is an invaluable source of funding which guarantees that our society has a properly qualified and trained social care workforce."

The Voluntary Sector Development Fund has made over £6.5 million available to voluntary care organisations since 2001. This year approximately £900,000 will be made available to 67 organisations.

All care workers, including those in the voluntary sector, are expected to meet the standards for SSSC registration. Further details of the registration criteria are available on the SSSC website - www.sssc.uk.com.

The criteria for the fund is decided each year in partnership with the Chief Executive of the Scottish Social Services Council, the Director of the Voluntary Sector Social Services Workforce Unit and representation from the Scottish Government.

This is the second year that the fund has been available to adult residential care workers, support workers in adult residential care, residential adult care staff with supervisory responsibilities and managers in housing support services. Approximately 90 per cent of applications were from housing support services.