“Fewer buildings, better services”:Thurrock Council care boss explains why they are losing children’s centres

AMBITIOUS plans to improve services for children and young people in the borough have been announced by Thurrock Council at Cabinet on Wednesday (12 October), with councillors agreeing the model for delivering a new 0-19 health and wellbeing service.The targeted service is designed to protect and promote the health, wellbeing and education, providing support to vulnerable children and their families in Thurrock.Portfolio Holder for Education and Health, Cllr James Halden, spoke after the meeting. He said: “I have made it very clear we need to give residents a flexible service where there is the greatest need.”We want to provide the services, children and families need, in an effective and efficient way which stops parents having to register with each service separately.”By having a single registration process, a lead professional to coordinate their support and multiple services under one roof, families will be better informed to get the support they need. Through a mixture of children’s centres, schools and community-based services, the help and support offered will be more joined-up and family centred.Cllr Halden added: “We need to look beyond the traditional way of doing things and develop new and better ways of providing services to residents. Out-reach is a far more effective way of supporting families in the community.”Why should we require families to travel to us when we can also see them where they are comfortable perhaps in their home or in the community?”This is about the quality of service not bricks and mortar. Previously, there were different services offered – with overlapping services in different locations.”I am pleased we are able to take this way of providing important services forward to help young people and families in Thurrock.

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