Feedback on some of the top comments throughout the consultation on Improving early help services for children and families
- You are concerned about what will happen to children’s centres
In a new service we propose to use a number of the existing children’s centre buildings for the service bases. We are also working with our early year’s services, schools where the children’s centres are on school sites, and the local community in some areas to look at how we can maximise the use of other centres for services for children and families going forward.
- You are worried about losing services, in particular some of those that take place at children’s centres
Our aim is not to reduce services but to help families in a better way. There are many services that currently run from children’s centres that will continue. For example, health services like ante-natal and post-natal groups, health visitor clinics, parenting classes, and speech and language therapy. All of these services will continue but maybe in a different location in the future.
There are lots of other groups, activities and support for families and children that already take place in and around Bucks. We are mapping this and will be working hard to improve how we help families find out about these activities in the future as part of this new service.
- Coffee shops may not be the right place to meet with families
We will work with families in a variety of locations giving the family and the worker the choice for the most appropriate place to meet. This could be at home, in one of our offices, in another community venue or in a public place like a coffee shop.
We have learned through existing work with families that some families and often young people prefer less formal venues. People often feel more able to have an open and honest conversation in a relaxed environment, creating a better relationship.
Any work carried out, irrespective of location, will need to be confidential and ensure the safety of all those involved.
- Being able to access services is really important
We heard through the consultation and focus groups that when families need support they speak to someone they trust. This could be anyone from your GP, midwife or health visitor, to a teacher or someone from your child’s school. This won’t change in the new service and we continue to encourage families to talk to the people you feel most comfortable with who will then refer you to us.
You can also talk to us directly. In the new service there will be a dedicated phone line where you will be able to ask for advice before anything else, or by emailing us. You will also be able to find advice and information for you and your family on our website.