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Removal of Early Support Service from 0-25 team (Hu5)

Cuts

Portfolio: Children and Young People Portfolio

Stop the Early Support function of the Disability Lifestages 0-25 team. The team identifies and assists families with 0-3 year old children who have developmental needs that are linked to a disability. The information, advice and guidance imparted to these families at this early stage is done to delay entry into services at a later date. Some children aged under 3 may still receive some support because of specific needs and others would receive a service because they were classed as a ‘child in need’ with a statutory entitlement to a service.

The development of a first point of contact function elsewhere in the council will provide some sign posting and advice will assist in mitigating the impact on families. This will require work with the voluntary sector/community support.  There is a risk that lack of early support will increase demand for social work services.

 

Link: Hu5 Removal of Early Support Service from 0-25 team

Related FAQs

What will be the impact on voluntary organisations such as Citizen’s Advice, Age UK, GADD? What happens if they close?

What will be the impact on voluntary organisations such as Citizen’s Advice, Age UK, GADD? What happens if they close?

We fully support the work of our voluntary sector partners and hope to continue to work with them in the future. However, the financial situation is such that the Council is not able to continue funding these organisations at current levels. The likely impact of the budget proposals on these organisations is currently being identified, following discussions with the organisations most affected. We hope that they are able to continue their work by looking at where they can make further cost and efficiency savings, but we appreciate that in some cases this may not be possible and it will therefore mean a reduction in the support they can offer to the residents of Darlington.  It could lead to the closure of organisations if they are unable to make the necessary changes for them to be sustainable, which will be very regrettable. We want to avoid this happening and we will support organisations making grant applications where we can. We will also be undertaking work to understand the impact of any reductions in service on individuals accessing them. 

The Council’s Children’s Services has already failed an Ofsted report – won’t cutting the budget make things worse?

The Council’s Children’s Services has already failed an Ofsted report – won’t cutting the budget make things worse?

We are spreading reductions over time to work with partners on new services. We now have an improvement plan in place to tackle the problems highlighted by Oftsed, which is getting us back on track, and ensures that all our services contribute to giving all children and young people in Darlington the best start in life.
Our proposals aim to develop a new service that combines early help with other support, which will include Children’s Centre delivery, early help and Troubled Families. Working with partners we are changing our approach, building on what works to target support at those children and families in greatest need. We are also strengthening our area social work teams and management in response to the Ofsted improvement plan. 

Your Say

12 comment(s)

This table lists comments from the public about this proposal

Comment

Cut Hu05 (Removal of Discretionary early support service)

I am writing to make my feelings of dismay known to you that given an inadequate Ofsted inspection last year, your proposal to close the Early Support Service has left me bewildered and appalled that such a vital and necessary service is due to be lost because of funding. The Early Support Team prevent costly statutory interventions and by cutting this service now, any savings will be outstripped in the months to come as Life Stages will have to pick up many or all of these families. Economically, Early Support is a service that saves the authority money in the short and long term. The service employs hard working, dedicated and trained staff who deliver an invaluable service and no other practitioners within DBC are qualified to offer this service.

Cut Hu05 (Removal of Discretionary early support service)

As a parent of a child with a physical difficulty I am writing to let you know how dismayed I am at the thought that Darlington in going to lose its Early Support Service. First hand, I can confirm how desperately important early intervention is. Had my child not received support in the early years he would not have been able to attend mainstream school, my own mental health would have suffered and my physical health would have spiralled out of control. I am shocked that the council wants to close such a valuable service to save a mere £70000 per annum!

Cut Hu05 (Removal of Discretionary early support service)

As a member of the Early Support Team based within Life Stages I would like to add my comments to the proposal of removing Early Support as a service offered to families. Families that are at their most vulnerable. Families that have been presented with a situation completely and utterly out of their control. Families who are desperate for answers, support and empowerment to enable them to carry on. The team works with 0-3's who have complex medical needs, life changing disabilities and those exploring the diagnosis of social, communication difficulties and their parents/carers. We support in the bewildering and often over whelming world of health professionals, education officials and establishments supporting parents to look closely at options, opportunities and to provide qualified, experienced and intensive intervention to ensure their child is given the best possible life chances. To remove such a valuable service to save just £70k would have a hugely detrimental and devastating impact on the most vulnerable in our society. Many, if not all of the families our team works with would fall into statutory care should Early Support close costing DBC considerably more money - this is aside from the implications for parents who rely heavily on regular contact from the team - due to the needs of some of our service users, there are parents who are unable to leave their home - losing Early Support would leave some isolated and alone which has its own associated problems. Please reconsider the decision to lose Early Support - we are a service that is desperately needed and used.

Cut Hu05 (Removal of Discretionary early support service)

The Early Support Service work with the most vulnerable children in Darlington supporting parents to have a say on their child's education, social care needs and health outcomes. It is a sad state of affairs if Darlington Borough Council feel that removing this service will save money - perhaps in the short term but ultimately, these children will enter the Social Care arena which inevitably will cost far more in the long term. Safeguarding of these children is paramount. Stressed, unsupported and desperate parents with no where to turn ultimately increases the risk of neglect, abuse and social anxiety. Do DBC want a child's death on their hands? Have lessons not been learnt from other authority's errors and mistakes. Do DBC want a Baby P scenario? Social Workers in DBC are overworked, stressed to meet basic targets - there is no capacity for the teams to work intensively with these families and are DBC prepared to ignore or forget these vulnerable families?

I realise that this is a very difficult scenario that DBC finds itself in. However, I fail to understand how an Early Support Service can be potentially removed when a council the size of Darlington, must have other areas where a saving of £70,000 can be made?

Cut Hu05 (Removal of Discretionary early support service)

I was so shocked when I heard that the council is wanting to close Early Support. During my time at college when studying to complete my Diploma in Childcare and Education, I completed a work placement with the Early Support Team over the course of a few months. I can't even begin to explain what a fantastic team there is and what outstanding support they give to children and their families. I have seen the team build on parent's confidence and help them realise their abilities as mothers and fathers, whether this be at home or going with them to play groups and centres which they would not usually ever attend on their own. They have helped secure nursery places, helped children reach milestones and also provide vital resources the child and family would not have had access too. I honestly can't imagine the effect it would have on some children and their parents if Early Support was to close. We cannot expect these children to start nursery without some prior support in place. It's not fair on the child or the parents. Some of these parents rely on the support and friendly face they get from the Early Support. Please don't take this away.

Cut Hu05 (Removal of Discretionary early support service)

I think the proposal to cut this service is terrible. When a family have a child with diverse and complex needs they feel isolated, scared and often overwhelmed. This service provides invaluable support and guidance st a time when families really need it. This service has helped many families I know and without it I know their journey would have been much more difficult.

Cut Hu05 (Removal of Discretionary early support service)

I would like to have my say on the issue of the proposal to end early support service.I think this will have a severe impact on many children and families. My views on this issue are quite strong as there is a lot of evidence that proves this service is very much in need in fact I feel it is so important.A child should have this support from a early age to reduce the level of damage that could be caused and stop things escalating into a more serious issue as time goes by. If ended I believe it will end up costing more money in the long run,research shows that having this support early is so important. I don't believe that the voluntary sector would be able to cope with this issue,would they be able to give a service with the correct training needed to help children and families in this situation which needs understanding and care? I don't think so,the 1.1 care which is given now is so beneficial. Ending this service would be a massive loss to all children and families and cause a massive loss. Early support relives the pressure on services by ending this support in my view only going to cause much more damage and will create more cost. Experienced staff are once again are crucial and very much needed. This service should NOT be ended.

Cut Hu05 (Removal of Discretionary early support service)

I am aware that their is a proposal to end childrens early support services and wanted to voice my concerns. My son went to nursery/currently goes to school with an autistic child who has benefitted greatly from the support offered by the early support services. It has helped both child and family alike enormously, from early stage intervention to current day support for him to remain successfully in main stream education. Surely working and identifying problems from an early age is more beneficial all round and more cost effective in the long term?. This service is vital, and it's importance should not be under estimated or treated as something that can be "done without".

Cut Hu05 (Removal of Discretionary early support service)

I understand you are planning to shut this service down? I feel strongly that this is a mistake and you should have a change of mind as its a vital lifeline to many people.

Cut Hu05 (Removal of Discretionary early support service)

The closure of the Early Support Service will have a devastating impact on the lives and future development of young children in Darlington who have the most complex medical needs/disabilities and their families who need support. We just do all we can to prevent this.

Cut Hu05 (Removal of Discretionary early support service)

The Early Support Team are committed to Darlington's Children and Young People's Plan (CHYP) 2014-2017. The aim is to ensure that effective early intervention and preventative services are in place to work with children and their families to reduce the incidence of abuse and neglect, family breakdown, social exclusion and poor outcomes. The Early Support Service provide targeted flexible support at children and their families in greatest need, this evidence determined the continuation of the Early Support Service within the CYP Plan 2014-17 in promoting high quality early childhood experiences

Cut Hu05 (Removal of Discretionary early support service)

In my view, rather than removing the whole service, consideration could be given to reducing the current staffing level of 3 FTE by 1 FTE. This wold provide some resource savings whilst allowing the team to offer a reasonable level of service to children with complex medical needs and disabilities and their families. The children's development needs could be supported as well as ensuring that a broader remit of inclusion and participation are met.