Children’s Centres Update
A lot of misinformation is being put around about the proposed changes to the services run from the Children’s Centres in the Borough and I am worried that it might cause unnecessary concern to families who benefit from the services. I hope the following commentary might help.
Hampshire County Council is consulting on improvements to the services. Hampshire is considering how best to focus the service on those families where there is a need. The proposal is for the refocused services to work with:
Families with young children who need support and help to be effective, resilient and nurturing parents
Parents with learning disabilities who may require additional help
Parents who need help with their children’s behaviour, learning and development in order to keep their children safe and healthy.
That means delivering services in more flexible ways through home visits and the use of whatever community venues are most appropriate. That will be more effective at reaching the right people.
The suggestion that everyone will be obliged to travel to Buckskin is untrue. Buckskin will function as a hub for the Family Support Service. Service delivery to the families needing them will be through some of the existing buildings and Outreach Venues such as Community centres,libraries and church halls.
Hampshire is proposing to target the services to those who have a threshold of need at Level 3 (A family or child with many needs requiring more than one service or agency to be involved). Also for families with Level 2 needs who are within identified priority groups, for example teenage parents or families experiencing domestic abuse. This consultation is not looking at the statutory care required at Level 4 where there are high levels of unmet and complex needs.
The new service will provide a service to Vulnerable Families with children 0 - 19: a 'one stop shop' for people who need help.
This seems to be a sensible proposal and one that is worth sensible discussion, at least. I will be working very closely with my Hampshire County Council colleagues to ensure the right services are delivered, in the right way, by the right provider, to the right people in the right location.
Read more about the consultation here: http://www3.hants.gov.uk/childrens-services-consultation