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New providers of targeted family support services announced

Published
21.12.2016

Gloucestershire County Council has today announced Barnardo's and Gardner's Lane and Oakwood Federation (GLOW) as providers of the new targeted family support services.

Following the cabinet decision in June 2016 and a competitive process, providers for of the new service across Gloucestershire are:

  • Gloucester City - Barnardo's
  • Cheltenham and Tewkesbury - Gardner's Lane and Oakwood Federation (GLOW)
  • Stroud and the Forest of Dean - Barnardo's

The Cotswolds area will continue to be run by the council, as it has been since September 2016.

The service will be based and delivered from the 16 children and family centres which are located in the most deprived areas of Gloucestershire and will offer additional services to support families with children up to the age of 11. This means vulnerable families will get more of the support they need, when they need it.

Vulnerable families in other areas will be able to get support within their community, as the service is wider than the children centre buildings themselves. These centres will join up services for families, including health visiting services.

Negotiations around the running of the remaining 30 centres continue and are going well.

All centres are expected to transfer to local organisations by the end of March 2017.

Providers for the 22 nurseries are also in the process of being agreed. The council will continue to fund places for two, three and four year olds, and help make sure Gloucestershire is ready for the 30 hours of free childcare the government is proposing.

The plans mean that £3.7m is being reinvested into children's social work over the next two years. So far 41 additional social workers have been recruited since April 2016, helping the most vulnerable children and families.

Cllr Paul McClain, cabinet member for children and families, said: "This announcement means that the plans for the creation of 'super centres' can now be put into action, and give the county's most vulnerable families the support that they need.

"The council has been working with both of the successful providers in recent years. I am looking forward to continuing and building on their good work."

Emma Bowman, regional assistant director Barnardo's, said: "Barnardo's is looking forward to working with even more families across Gloucestershire and helping their children to achieve the best possible start in life.

"We already have a very strong presence in the county, having supported thousands of local parents through our current clusters of children's centres and nurseries in Gloucester and the Forest of Dean, all of which are rated as 'good' or 'outstanding' by Ofsted inspectors.

"This breadth of local experience and expertise is combined with the wider support which comes from being part of the UK's leading children's charity. We look forward to working with parents, staff, volunteers and other groups and will keep them informed of developments."

Charles Welsh, director of Gardners Lane and Oakwood Federation (GLOW), said: "We are delighted to continue providing family support and early years services across Cheltenham and we look forward to extending provision into Tewkesbury from April."

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