New management announced for Warwickshire Children and Family Centres

From 1 September 2019 Barnardo’s will take over management of Warwickshire County Council’s Children and Family Centres across the county.

Following a successful tender process, Barnardo’s will officially start delivering pre-birth to age 19/25 health and wellbeing support services at 13 of the county’s 14 centres. The exception will be St Michael’s Children and Family Centre in Bedworth which will continue as an independent provider but deliver services to the whole of Bedworth and Bulkington.

The service specification for the new contract was developed based on the service offer and delivery model agreed by the county council’s Cabinet, following engagement with children and families, and detailed work with a broad range of partners to design a cost effective and quality service that will meet the needs of children and families in Warwickshire.

The centres will offer an exciting mix of services in the right place at the right time to help families be the best they can be. Information and advice on a range of issues affecting families such as education, finance and relationships as well as health services such as the Healthy Child Programme, school health and well-being service, the family nurse partnership, midwifery and health visiting will be available.

Warwickshire County Council’s Portfolio Holder for Children and Families, Councillor Jeff Morgan said, “Following a rigorous tendering process, we can now announce that from September 2019, Barnardo’s will be delivering support at the council’s Children and Family Centres.

“We are looking forward to developing plans with Barnardo’s along with our health and community partners to support children, young people and their families during their crucial early years and beyond. We need to do all we can to support our most vulnerable families, enable them to help themselves and ensure the offer is consistent wherever they are in the county. In addition to the 14 dedicated centres there will be a wide variety of pop-up support hubs and outreach activities in local communities. This model puts in place flexible, accessible, local services that will meet the needs of whole families now and into the future.”

Barnardo’s regional assistant director Sue Berry said: “We have been managing children’s centres in Warwickshire since 2014, including their recent transformation into children and family centres to deliver more targeted support.

“Therefore we already have close links with the local community together with extensive experience and expertise in enabling families to overcome challenges and fulfil their potential.

“We are delighted this new contract will enable us to continue to support children, young people, parents and carers across the county, and we look forward to working with the council to deliver the new model agreed by their Cabinet.”

Until the new contract takes effect in September family services will continue to be offered in South Warwickshire by Stratford Parenting Project and in Stockingford by the Early Years Centre and Library. The council is grateful to both organisations for the excellent service they have provided and strong children’s centre foundations to build upon.

With the exception of South Warwickshire, St Michael’s and Stockingford, centres elsewhere in the county are already managed by Barnardo’s.