Children’s centre services to be delivered from seven new family hub bases
Plans to deliver children’s centre services from seven new family hub bases across Shropshire were agreed by Shropshire Council’s Cabinet at its meeting today (Wednesday 26 September).
The decision means that services will be delivered from seven key buildings instead of the existing 26 buildings, namely:-
- The Centre – Oswestry
- Sunflower House– Shrewsbury
- Crowmoor Centre – Shrewsbury
- Rockspring Centre – Ludlow
- the Youth Centre in Bridgnorth
- Raven House, Market Drayton
- and a hub base in the Whitchurch area yet to be determined.
Although some services will be provided directly in hub buildings, the majority will be delivered through local community venues and home visits.
The proposals were originally drawn up following a consultation held in February and March 2018 in which families, stakeholders and staff were asked for their views on the idea of family hubs. Their views and opinions helped to shape the proposals. A further six-week consultation into the proposals ran from 29 May 2018, and included some 25 public meetings.
The Market Drayton hub was added as a direct result of feedback from parents and carers during the recent consultation. The Early Help team based in Market Drayton will ensure Early Help support and services are available for families living in the Whitchurch area until a suitable building is sourced.
Nick Bardsley, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for children and young people, said:
“The new delivery model for Early Help services across the county will provide whole family support, dealing with all the issues a family faces, with their full involvement and consent. The principle of delivering these services through bases or hubs was generally well received during our consultations and I want to thank everyone who took part and shared their thoughts with us.
“We want to provide support to children and families who are most in need of our help, quickly and in the right way. We also currently spend an awful lot of money on a lot of buildings, some of which are only used for a very small part of the week. We therefore think it’s far better to focus our resources on providing services for those who need our help, rather than paying for buildings.”
Under the proposals services provided by Shropshire Council’s partners will also continue, including midwifery services, health visitor services and services for vulnerable and disadvantaged children, especially those with special needs.
Shropshire Council does not intend to close the 20 unneeded buildings, but anticipates that they would be used by other organisations providing services for children and families.