Transforming Prevention and Early Help

Changes to the way we provide Prevention and Early Help services

Prevention and Early Help is the name we give to the way we support families and communities in Bradford.

Prevention is about stopping problems emerging in the first place. Early Help is about preventing problems that are happening from getting worse.

Bradford Council is making changes to the way that it provides Prevention and Early Help services across the district.

We have listened carefully to feedback from two public consultations, and changed our plans after hearing what you had to say.

These new plans have now been approved by the council and will come into effect in October 2018.

Why do we need to make changes?

Cuts in Government funding mean that we have to make big savings by 2020/21. This means we cannot continue to deliver services in the way we have done in the past.

Results of the consultations

A public consultation ran from November 2017 until February 2018 and took a number of forms. It included public consultation events across the district, consultation questionnaires (both online and offline), focused group sessions with young people, and presentations to key groups and partners. People could also respond by post or by email.

The main areas of feedback from the consultation were:

  • Worries about the impact of the reduction in staffing in the plan of between 47% and 51%.
  • Some concerns that the remaining staff would be expected to work across too wide an age range.
  • The changes might have a negative impact on early years provision, especially on preparation for parenthood and children’s centres.

In response to the consultation, the council made a number of changes to the plan, including:

  • An extra £500,000 a year in both 2018/19 and 2019/20 to help transition to the new arrangements.
  • An increase in the workforce from 197 posts to 246.5, mostly in prevention workers and key workers.
  • A reduction in the number of management posts.
  • Farcliffe and Lilycroft Children’s Centre will continue to work as before.

What will change?

Whilst a few services will continue to be provided centrally, most will be delivered by new family hubs in four areas. These will cover the following areas:

  • Keighley and Shipley.
  • Bradford East.
  • Bradford West.
  • Bradford South.

These family hub teams will be responsible for:

  • Early childhood development and school readiness.
  • Children’s centres for children under five and their families.
  • Targeted work with individual children and families (Families First).
  • Parenting support through all age ranges (children aged from birth to 19 or 25 with a disability).
  • Family and maternal health and mental health.
  • Early education and free childcare.
  • Education attendance.
  • Providing positive activities for young people.
  • Health and wellbeing.
  • Diversity and cohesion.

Each of the four family hub teams will work closely with local schools and voluntary and community groups to support families and improve the lives of everyone in their area.

They will work alongside other council services such as the SEND Inclusive Education Service, the 0-19 Public Health children's services team and other education services, as well as with the police, health services and youth teams.

When needed, families will have a single family key worker to lead the plan around their needs. This will avoid repeating or duplicating things. It will mean that families don’t get a series of visits from different services.

Some services will still be delivered centrally:

  • The Early Help Gateway (including Families Information Service) which will be a single point of contact for advice on Prevention and Early Help.
  • Oversight of education, including children missing from education.
  • Specialist behaviour support and inclusion for children and young people with additional needs.
  • Short breaks for disabled children.
  • Intensive family support to prevent children coming into care.
  • Youth offending services.

We will also change the way we commission health visiting, school nursing and oral health services. These will be joined up, and integrated with the four area based teams.

This work will include the Healthy Child programme of regular health checks for children and families as well as targeted services for families that need most support.

We will also support a variety of oral health activities. This will include training for pregnant women who have free dental treatment and screening surveys. We will work with schools, the Brushing for Life campaign and the Fluoride Varnish programme to improve oral health, especially in children and pregnant women.

What will happen to children’s centres?

We have no plans to close any children’s centre buildings. The Council will work with partners to identify how we make the best use of the different buildings in each area.

The following children’s centre buildings will become outreach bases. They will deliver at least 8 hours of activities each week for babies, children and families:

  • Hirst Wood
  • Highfield
  • Parkland
  • Princeville
  • Bierley
  • Tyersal
  • Wyke

Farcliffe and Lilycroft Children’s Centre will continue to work as before.

These changes will mean that some services will be delivered differently.

We have tried to avoid cutting staff who deal with people using our services as much as possible. However cuts imposed by the government mean that we can’t afford all the services we currently pay for. We are working with local people and communities to see what part they can play in helping to deliver services for themselves.

We know that some families in some parts of the district experience many more difficulties than others. We are targeting our resources in those areas where children have the poorest outcomes.

Our vision as a district is to draw on the energy, experience and effort of the whole system so that babies, children and young people have a great start and improved life chances.

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