PROPOSALS to reshape the support available to parents of infants and young children in North East Lincolnshire are now open for views from people within the community.
The plans being considered by North East Lincolnshire Council centre on delivering the same services in different ways to try and reach out to more families across the whole of the borough.
As a result, a move away from centring support in buildings is being investigated. Instead, it is thought that a combination of in-centre services at six family hubs, with more outreach and community work, would better serve the needs of the wider community.
In looking at the way forward, the council now wants to gauge the views of the public – encouraging families to guide the plans and offer insight into the opportunities and challenges they face. In doing so, councillors stress that the reshaping is not about saving money, but about finding the right fit for families. They stress again that the same services and nursery day care will continue if the plans do go ahead with no reduction in teams or staff.
“The services that local families interact with will continue to be available in our communities,” said Councillor Ian Lindley, portfolio holder for children, education and skills at North East Lincolnshire Council.
“Through the COVID pandemic we haven’t been able to offer many of our services from our family hubs. Instead, we’ve either delivered them virtually – over the phone or in other virtual means – or by going to people, visiting them in their homes.
“The feedback has been that this is actually very popular, and it takes away that barrier of going somewhere to access these vital services. It also means that by seeing children and families in their own homes, we can provide much better, more bespoke support in a more targeted way.
“We’re now asking the public for their views on how services should be delivered and accessed, and we want your views. If you use our family hub services, please take a moment to complete our consultation.”
Matt Clayton, Head of Service Early Help and Prevention at North East Lincolnshire Council, said: “These services are so important to the families that use them, so what we’re hoping to do is learn from the lessons of the pandemic, listen to people’s views, and then shape our early help services so that they work best for the families who use them.
“We’re also particularly keen to focus more on the areas that use these services most, rather than having them spread across the area.
“So support will still be available, nursery day care will continue to be offered, and we’re keen to hear from people who use our services and want to help shape how those services are offered in the future.”
The consultation, which runs until August 1, is asking people for their views on how early help services should be delivered, and whether there are any gaps in services.
To find out more and to have your say, visit www.nelincs.gov.uk/have-your-say.