Families with young children in Derbyshire are being asked to help shape our services
28th August 2013
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We're consulting following the introduction of a wide range of services for families and the adoption of a strategy designed to help families in need get help early.

Improvements introduced for families with young children include the creation of a network of children's centres delivering targeted support to families. Support includes:

  • A programme for parents and carers to have fun playing and learning with their children called PEEP (Parents Early Education Partnership); 
  • Activities to develop a child's language skills - ECaT (Every Child a Talker);
  • HENRY - a healthy exercise and nutrition programme to help children stay a healthy weight as they grow
  • The Family Nurse Partnership, supporting teenage parents
  • Midwives and health visitors contracted to offer additional support to families.

Councillor Kevin Gillott, our Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said:

"There have been big changes in the way we help families with young children and we'd like to know what people think of these services.

"We're also facing significant financial challenges and have to save £157million over the next four years. This means we need to look at what we deliver and how we deliver it."

We currently work with partners to provide and commission a wide range of early intervention services to improve the lives of children and the next generation of parents.

One of those measures is Home-Start which supports families with a weekly visit. This operates in four of the county's eight boroughs and districts - Erewash, Amber Valley, South Derbyshire and High Peak.

The contract with the county council is due to run out in March 2014 and is due to be reviewed.

Councillor Gillott said:

"When Home-Start began, we didn't have all our other services for children and young people in place.

"Research shows the best way to improve children's lives is to offer help in the early years and, when every penny counts, we need to make sure we are providing the most effective services we can."

In July 2012, the Children's Trust Board, on which we lead, adopted the Derbyshire Early Intervention and Prevention Strategy which aims to provide evidence-based integrated services for families.

Councillor Gillott added:

"Helping families before small issues become bigger problems is essential.

"Our early intervention strategy aims to identify those families and offer help in the early days to make a positive difference. However, this has to be delivered within our budget.

"That's why we're asking families − those who use our services as well as those who don't − for their help to shape how we do things in the future."

Copies of a questionnaire asking for people's views are available at children's centres, GP surgeries, libraries and multi-agency centres across Derbyshire.

People can also fill them in online by going to www.surveymonkey.com/s/DCCFamilySupport (opens in a new window)

Parents and carers are also being invited to three focus groups taking place in September and October. To take part contact Anne Paxton on 01629 535713 or email anne.paxton@derbyshire.gov.uk

About the Author

Sarah A

Member since: 10th July 2012

Hi, I'm Sarah. I've lived in Heanor with my family for over 10 years and I'm passionate about our beautiful little corner of this historical county. If you know of something that's great about our area,...

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