The consultation for Family Resilience and Children's Centres was launched on the 30 October 2018 and concluded on 4 January 2019. We have listened and responded to the suggestions from the consultation, and these have been included in the Cabinet paper.
On the 29 January 2019 Cabinet members agreed to:
- Endorse the remodelling of the remaining Children's Centres to create Family Centres as part of a wider Family Service to support families with children aged 0 to 11 that are the most vulnerable.
- Agree to the reduction in number of Children's Centres in Surrey from 58 centres to 21 centres and satellite sites, to be located in areas where children are most likely to experience poor outcomes. At least one main centre in each district and borough supported by the use of satellites, outreach workers and community venues.
- Agree to reduce the number of mobile Family Centres in Surrey from two to one in order to reach areas where there are small numbers of vulnerable children and families.
We are facing significant challenges to meet the needs of the most vulnerable children and families, whilst managing very difficult financial decisions. We need to focus our resources where it makes the biggest difference to the children and families who need support the most. We think the best way to do this is by helping families to become more resilient, to be able to cope with change and bounce back when difficult things happen. Each of the 11 districts and boroughs will have at least one main centre and there will be a number of satellite centres, these will be places where workers who are supporting families can meet with them. The main centres will also provide outreach support to families in their own homes and will continue to use community venues where needed. This is a model that is already being used effectively to support families who do not currently live near a Children's Centre.
Whilst we propose to focus the county council Family Centre resource on the most vulnerable children and families, Family Centres will act as venues for families to access support from other universal services. This means that services such as health visiting, midwifery, citizen's advice and support with housing and employment, will continue to provide universal services from a range of community buildings and Family Centres.
Please check this and our other Children's Centre pages regularly for updates on the changes.