3.1 The Lead Member for Children and Families considered a report by the Director for Children’s Services regarding proposals in relation to consulting on the draft Children’s Services Early Help Strategy.
3.2 The Lead Member RESOLVED to:
1) agree that the draft Children’s Services Early Help Strategy will be consulted on for a 10 week period from May to July 2019; and
2) agree that 0 – 5 years and education service providers may be contacted to explore their taking over children’s centres affected by the proposals.
3.3 The report proposed consulting on a draft Early Help Strategy (EHS) which will cost £4.2m and which targets support to the most vulnerable families and young people in East Sussex, through evidence-based interventions which will improve their resilience and outcomes, thereby preventing the need for social care services. It is considered to be the most appropriate prioritisation of resources in order to meet identified need.
3.4 The draft EHS is focussed on the localities where the most vulnerable families live, but offers a countywide service. Keywork would take place in family homes supported from a network of 16 children’s centres and youth centres offering reach into rural inland areas. Group and youth work would also be offered to increase the number of families we can work with, and would be provided wherever need was identified, in the network of children’s centres and youth centres, or using other Council or community buildings in local areas. The draft EHS targets families at risk of needing social care intervention, but continues to work in partnership to enable a wider preventative offer, including the integrated family support and Health Visiting services for 0-5 year olds.
3.5 The Lead Member has agreed that the draft EHS would undergo a public consultation during May to July 2019, following which the findings would be analysed and the draft EHS and supporting appendices, including the Equality Impact Assessment, would be finalised and updated proposals presented for decision in October 2019. If approved, the proposals to be considered in October would take effect by 1 April 2020.