Children's services restructuring could save £163,000

By Emily Pearce

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

 

MANAGEMENT costs spent on services for children and families — including the Island's highly rated children's centres — could be cut by ten per cent, following a proposed restructure by the Isle of Wight Council.

The council cabinet on Tuesday agreed to launch a consultation on plans to remodel children's centres to incorporate a wider range of services, including parenting classes and targeted support for troubled families.

Although there are no plans to close any of the Island's eight children's centres, all of which have been rated by Ofsted as good or outstanding, they would be managed across three localities or clusters.

Services currently cost some £1.63 million to provided and the proposed restructure would reduce management overheads by £163,237.

The proposed restructure would provide a seamless service for families and children, up to the age of 19, and make better use of children's centre buildings, according to the council.

Cabinet member for children's services Cllr Richard Priest said: "We are proposing to bring together the excellent work of our children’s centres with the important early help support services to strengthen the services offered to families on the Island. It is important we gather as many views as possible from service users, providers and partner agencies before we make a decision.

"We think change will be necessary but I want to be clear I see this as change which will be very much in line with our general improvement journey for all children’s services on the Island. That improvement remains my top priority."

Consultation sessions will be held with parents and providers, and at children's centres. They will be advertised at www.iwight.com

Reporter: emilyp@iwcpmail.co.uk

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