Sefton Council is looking at new ways in how people access information, advice, activities and receive support for children and their families.
An 8-week consultation, which launched this week (25 September) looks at merging Children’s Centres and Family Centres across the borough.
There are currently 10 Children’s Centres throughout Sefton offering a range of family services to parents, prospective parents and young children.
There are also four Family Centres, two of which are co-located with Children’s Centres, which offer early help services and targeted support to families.
Sefton Council is proposing changes to how services are provided to local children and their families by remodelling its Family and Children’s Centres by merging them together.
The consultation considers different ways to make sure families who use the services get the right support for the right issue at the right time by creating 0-19 Family Wellbeing service centres. Similar models have been adopted across the country.
Proposals being considered are to redesign and potentially relocate a centre with the creation of three main Family and Wellbeing Centres across the borough (merged Family and Children’s Centres) with additional delivery points. Some of these delivery points will be where existing Family and Children’s Centres are currently located.
The proposals have been discussed with centre managers and school headteachers from the Centres and now a formal public consultation is set to start.
Cllr John Joseph Kelly, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Schools and Safeguarding, said: “It is imperative that children in Sefton have the best possible start in life and we want to make sure this happens.
“We also have a legal duty to ensure the sufficient provision of Children’s Centres to meet the support needs of all local parents and carers, prospective parents and children from 0-19.
“This will not change but we need to target services towards those that need them most and where they are needed most.
“Our communities have told us in the past of the need to co-locate and how we need to make services available to those most in need.
“A decision to look at Children’s and Family Centres was agreed in the budget as part of our locality working and the consultation follows extensive research into similar successful models across the country.
“The consultation closes on November 17 so please take the time to give us your views and ideas to help shape how services can look in the future.”
To get involved, visit the online consultation and complete the short survey.
Once collated, Cabinet should be in a position to consider the consultation response in December, 2017.