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New family service consultation set to launch

The new service would bring together four different teams into one

Plans have been drawn up to merge a range of ‘early help’ and prevention support into one, new-style service.

Leicestershire County Council is proposing to consult on bringing together Children’s Centres, Supporting Leicestershire Families (SLF), Youth Offending Service (YOS) and Information, Support and Assessment teams into a Family Wellbeing Service.

These four services work currently with children and families to tackle problems before they get serious.

The new service would:

•          support vulnerable children aged 0-19 and their families
•          run from 15 buildings across the county – a reduction of 25, including 24 children’s centres
•          reduce costs by £1.5m by removing duplication across the services


Children’s services across the country are under huge strain, with the Local Government Association estimating a £2bn national funding gap by 2020. The growing pressure on our budget means we need to reduce early help costs and deliver services differently. We are also aware that the Government have yet to make a commitment to continuing their financial support to our Supporting Leicestershire Families programme after 2018/19.  That support is over £2m this year. 

We’ve spent a long time analysing services and reviewing options. More work is required to develop a new approach, but joining up our prevention work in this way would enable us to provide a range of specialist, tailored support to the most vulnerable families across Leicestershire. 

Clearly, the proposed new service would target support at those who most need it, so we’re committed to understanding fully the impact before any changes are made.


The proposals will be discussed by cabinet at its meeting on 9 January – if approved, a 12-week consultation will follow.

Watch the meeting  

The £1.5m saving would see front line staff reduced by four per cent (eight full-time equivalent posts).

Locations for five hubs and 10 outreach centres have been identified, including preferred buildings: 



Hub locations

  • Loughborough: - (Preferred - Mountfields SLF Centre – Loughborough)
  • Hinckley: -  (Preferred - Hinckley East Children’s/Contact Centre)
  • Wigston:- (Preferred - Wigston Magna Children’s Centre)
  • Melton:-  (Preferred - Venture House SLF Centre)
  • Coalville:- (Preferred - Greenhills SLF centre)

Outreach centre locations

  • Earl Shilton:- (Preferred - Children’s Centre)
  • Shepshed:- (Preferred - Children’s Centre)
  • Thurmaston:- (Preferred - Children’s Centre)
  • Lutterworth:- (Preferred - Children’s Centre)
  • Market Harborough:- (Preferred - Children’s Centre)
  • Huncote:- (Preferred - Children’s Centre)
  • Castle Donington:- (Preferred - Northern Parishes Children’s Centre)
  • Measham:- (Preferred - Children’s Centre)
  • Loughborough:- (Preferred - Loughborough Children’s/Contact Centre)
  • Coalville:- (Preferred - Coalville Children’s/Contact Centre)

If possible, the 25 buildings no longer needed would be used by other groups such as nurseries. 

Children’s centres

Rolled out nationally in 2003, there are 36 across the county. The centres provide health and learning support to families for pre-school children - particularly for babies, younger children and parents who need additional help and assistance.

Supporting Leicestershire Families

SLF is a nationally-acclaimed service which helps people tackle a range of issues including drugs, truancy, unemployment, domestic violence, health problems and anti-social behaviour.

It brings together services from county and district councils, the police, the NHS and other organisations, reducing the need for families to deal with several different agencies.

It’s on course to support 3,300 families by 2020 - last year, it helped 70 per cent of the families it supported to make positive progress and is in the top five per cent of councils nationally.

Youth Offending Service

The YOS works with young people to prevent offending and re-offending. The team work with children and young people on pre-court outcomes (Youth Caution and Youth Conditional Caution) as well as post-court outcomes (Referral Orders, Youth Rehabilitation Orders and Detention and Training Orders and Section 90/91 custodial sentences). It also provides preventative support to reduce the number of children and young people coming into the criminal justice system.

Early help information, support and assessment

The service assesses support requests, delivers parenting and behaviour support, signposts people to special educational needs and disability support and provides support for young people with mental health difficulties.

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