Plans to close 32 West Sussex children centres announced

West Sussex county councillors are set to discuss plans to reduce the number of children and family centres in the county from 43 to 11 later this week.

The council’s children and young people’s services scrutiny committee will meet on 7 January to discuss a report, which aims to redesign its early help service

The proposals include reducing the current number of children and family centres, from 43 to 11 and ceasing delivery from Youth and Find it Out centres

The report also proposes closer working between early help and children’s social care so that all children and families are accessing the right help and protection from the most appropriate part of the service.

According to West Sussex County Council, the proposed changes will deliver £1.95m savings already identified in the council’s financial plan.

Last month, the government put plans on hold to transfer West Sussex County Council’s children’s services to an independent trust after improvements to the service.

‘The priority of our early help service is to work with the most vulnerable children and families,’ said cabinet member for children and young people, Cllr Jacquie Russell.

‘We have made significant investment in our children’s services and are starting to show real improvements which has been recognised by the Department for Education (DfE).

‘As part of our improvement plan we need to be more targeted in reaching the families we know need the most help and support. These plans would help us to do that.

‘Rather than expecting vulnerable children and families to come to us, our plan is for our staff to go to them,’ added Cllr Russell.

‘These proposals are about doing the best we can for vulnerable children and families. Any changes made will be subject to full and through consultation where I would encourage people to come and have their say.’


Photo Credit – Pixabay


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