Wellbeing, Care and Learning - Children

Family Service Review


May 2015

At the DJC on 29 April Colin Williams stated that staffing was completed and that 4 staff are currently on redeployment from this review.


March 2015

I have asked whether management has issued a communication to parents regarding which services will be operating from which locations as we were informed that this was due to go out in February.

I have also asked HR for the present figures on Redeployment.

You will be aware of our ‘noisy protest’ taking place on 4th March @ 4.30pm, highlighting the cuts that Councillors are due to vote in – this includes Family Services and Sure Start as well as many more.


February 2015

Following requests for VR being approved by Scrutiny some posts were able to be ‘lift and drop’.

This applied to the Sure Start Lead position and also the Sure Start Teachers.

Interviews have been taking place for some of the posts within the new structure and there are still some which are at the point of EOI as JE had to take place on new JD’s which were then taken to Moderation Panel for sign off.

We had asked for information regarding Commissioned Services as we have some members within these areas.

We have been informed that within Barnardo’s that staff have come forward and asked for hours to be reduced rather than posts lost and that this has been agreed.

We still do not full information on how many families may be affected who fall out of the Community Hub areas – they would still be entitled to Universal Services but not the full Sure Start offer.  Although it has been stated that no buildings will close, we are unclear on which buildings will provide which services.

The Sure Start Contact Group met to discuss concerns and to put forward ideas on the way forward with our campaign around this.

We are looking at contacting Councillors about the effect on their particular wards and the fact that some parents may still not know the full effect of the changes in relation to the services that they now access.

Management are busy working on a communication to parents regarding this which should go out in February, but until then staff have been approached about concerns parents and families have in relation to this.

There has been quite a lot of press coverage on the Family Service Review and this has helped keep our Campaign in the public eye, it would appear that some Councillors also have concerns about full information according to latest news articles.


January 2015

Staff briefings took place in early December regarding the proposals in terms of staffing. We have tried to cover all briefings and have a Unison presence.

We then contacted staff groups and asked whether they would sent through concerns etc. and that we could arrange meetings either in groups or individually.

We have done this and sent through concerns to management for their responses.

Responses from management were them shared this week.

We took our concerns regarding the proposed EOI submission date -, which was to be 2nd January 2015, to Ewan Weir and Pat Ritchie and were notified that this was to be extended to 12th January.

It has been confirmed with staff this week on who will be asked to submit an EOI and who will be lift and drop. (W/c 15th Dec). Staff on FTC and secondments have been notified on their positions individually.

There may need to be some change in EOI submission as some posts are awaiting moderation and therefore JD’s and Personal Spec. are not available.

The total job loss within FSR is 27.8 FTE.

We have asked for detail on Commissioned Services but have not been given any detail on this yet.


December 2014

In the verbal update, following submission of the last written report for Branch Committee, I gave details on the Cabinet Report this in summary was to approve a proposed new model for investment in early help and family support services for families with children and young people aged 0 to 18 years.

This took into account the responses and comments from the locality events which had taken place throughout the City. A total of 431 people attended the events and a further 161 submissions were received through the on-line consultation facility or as a direct written submission. In addition to this was the submission of our postcards as part of our ‘I heart Sure Start Campaign’ which amounted to over 370 completed cards.

There was also our petition which was presented to full council on 1st October 2014 which was also mentioned within Cabinet Report and was considered as part of the consultation on the Family Services Review.

Full analysis was taken account and themes emerged as follows.

The response

Three feedback sessions have been scheduled at the Beacon Centre, Ouseburn Community Centre and at the Civic Centre.


November 2014

 December 2014

January 2015

February – March 2015

April 2015

At the end of the sessions there is an opportunity to ask questions, from our side we asked when staff would be informed of the impact on actual job holders, we asked whether the job selection process was expected to be in place by December as the timeline would suggest this was the case and that the new model would be in place from April 2015.

The response is that this would be the case and a meeting to discuss this further with Trade Unions would be put in calendar this week.

We further asked that if the £385,000 had been found was there the possibility that this could be increased.

The response was that this was being looked into.

We asked whether the £385,000 being found meant a cut from other services.

The response was not from WCL Children’s but couldn’t state further.

Other questions which were raised within the feedback at Beacon Centre.

The meeting with Trade Unions is to take place on Thursday 20th November so we should have a clearer understanding of staffing processes.


November 2014

Within DJC 1ST October 2014 we asked whether there was any clear steer on which of the three proposed models had been preferred within the locality events.

At this point the information from all events was being collated and this would be then be shared.

We expressed concern that it appeared that whilst staff and other professionals had attended in significant numbers the number of parents and service users attending appeared to be low, we asked for a breakdown of this.

We were advised that as soon as this information was collated we would receive an update.


October 2014

Locality events have continued at various locations and will do so until the end of September.

Lynda Hardie (LH) attended a full event from 10.00 – 14.00pm at Galafields, Newbiggin Hall on 20th September.

The event covers –

There are table discussions throughout and views are noted.

At the end of the event attendees are asked to take part in voting for their preferred option model this is by voting button there are some questions that are asked first including-

We should work with universal services to enable them to better meet the needs of children with poorer life chances.  (The options are to agree, disagree or register undecided. )

We should prioritise resources for children, young people and families at greatest need.  (Agree, disagree or undecided. )

There are 5 questions in total before the Model selection.

LH had previously asked about what could be put in place if attendees did not want to vote at that point but wanted to consider the information further – you are able to vote on-line.

LH also asked about those who did not want to vote any they did not support any Model. Apparently this can be picked up by not voting against the number of attendees.

At this point there has been no clear steer on a preferred model, results have varied.


September 2014

The project team have held a number of meetings. Meetings were held with all staff in scope of the review in July. This gave

Since then a number of updates have taken place

UNISON has a meeting arranged with Councillors Kingsland and Streather this week.


July 2014

The Big Lottery Bid was unsuccessful which may have resulted in a different approach being viable.

The use of Social Finance Limited as proposed is not going ahead after discussion between management and Elected Members.

The last project team meeting was held on 24th June with Colin Williams. Details were gone through on services within the original scope including Sure Start and some areas of Family Services and Education Service. There was also discussion on suggested additional services which may be included.

Further work was needed on the information that had been supplied and it was hoped that this would be completed for this week. The details would then be discussed with Ewan Weir before proceeding.

A further meeting of the Project Team is scheduled for 11th July 2014.

It was hoped that meetings with staff could be arranged and this would be looked at asap.

With Schools further discussion would be needed due to the tight timescale.


June 2014

No further meetings have taken place the next meeting is scheduled for 11th June.


May 2014

Last meeting of the Project Team took place on 4th April an update was given by Colin Williams (Head of Resilience Prevention and Early Intervention) on Social Finance Limited.

(This was also brought up within the DJC which took place on 30th April).

Social Finance Limited has put together a draft work proposal on the Review of Family Services.

They state that their’ work is intended to support Newcastle City Council and its partners undertake a whole systems review of services and interventions delivered to the population (ages 0-25)’.

There work will be informed by the

Within DJC, Ewan Weir (Director of Wellbeing Care & Learning) confirmed that this is just a proposal at this time.


April 2014

The last meeting of the Project Team took place on 4th April an update was given by Colin Williams (Head of Resilience Prevention and Early Intervention) on Social Finance Limited.

(This was also brought up within the DJC which took place on 30th April).

Social Finance Limited has put together a draft work proposal on the Review of Family Services.

They state that their’ work is intended to support Newcastle City Council and its partners undertake a whole systems review of services and interventions delivered to the population (ages 0-25)’.

There work will be informed by the

 Within DJC, Ewan Weir (Director of Wellbeing Care & Learning) confirmed that this is just a proposal at this time.


March 2014

The 4th Version of the Proposal and Integrated Impact Assessment has now been made available. This includes a timetable for the review including:


January 2014

This review is still being scoped out.


December 2013

Savings to be met - £500,000. Efficient and effective use of programmed monies and services. No further details.


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