Norfolk CC could shut 46 of its 53 children’s centres

Under new proposals, Norfolk County Council has recommended shutting 46 out of 53 centres when their contracts end in September 2019.

Under a consolation into proposals for the new service, the council seeks to create a more consistent service that met the needs of families, with the seven remaining centres serving as hubs that provide outreach services to communities.

Having reduced its children’s centre budget for 2019 in half, the council maintains that up to 70 per cent of its work with families was via the centres' outreach staff.

Penny Carpenter, chairman of the Children’s Services Committee, said: “We want to get the right help to children and families as early as possible and create services that are fit for today’s families. By spending our money on frontline services, rather than buildings, we’ll be able to provide more focused one-to-one and group support, with a more consistent service across the county.

“About a quarter of those families who live in areas of greatest need are not accessing children’s centre services at the moment and we want to develop a service that gives them the support and help they need for their children. We’ve agreed significant investment over four years to develop new ways of working. This includes a range of projects to help support families to keep their children safe at home.”

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