The move is being recommended to councillors because of a need to make£24m cuts in their social services budget. Up to 2,000 jobs will be put at risk. Other savings to be considered include closing up to 10 old people's homes.
Peter Smallridge, director of Kent's social services department, says in his report: 'The impact of the savings... will be devastating to the lives of many of the department's service users and their families'.
Kent's deliberations come just days after leading care industry analysts Laing & Buisson said local authorities could buy 30% more care if they privatised their home help and other domiciliary services. Savings would come primarily from lower pay for care workers.