Public consultation on Prevention and Early Help

Purpose of the consultation

This information is available in accessible formats at the bottom of this page.


Attend one of the consultation events which we are running across the District. You can come and talk to us about the proposed changes, and we can provide you with support to complete the consultation questionnaire. You can also book a place at an event.


Supporting families and communities for the future, including proposed changes to how we provide our children’s centre core offer across the District.


This consultation is about developing a proposed new way of delivering Prevention and Early Help. Prevention is about stopping problems emerging in the first place.  Early Help is about preventing problems that are happening becoming worse.


If we can respond to babies, children and families’ needs early, it stops smaller problems becoming big ones. This helps us use our resources in a better way as we will be spending less money on expensive emergency and specialist services.


The Council and its partners are focusing on the way we propose to deliver services around a number of principles, in particular:


·         Building greater self-care and resilience within communities and families to help them help themselves.

·         One family, one plan, one key worker - so we help families to receive the right support at the right time when families need them.

·         Providing support as close to where families live as possible.

·         Using innovation to increase the ways we support families.

·         More targeting of those families who need more intensive support.

The Council is facing unprecedented pressure on its budgets. Government cuts mean that the resources we will have to spend on areas covered by this consultation will reduce by £13.3m or more than one third, from £37.1m in 2016/17 to £23.8m in 2020.


These cuts are in addition to the ones the Council has already had to make. It means that from 2010 to 2020, the funding the Council as a whole has available for services has halved.


Service Area

2016-17 budget

2020-21 budget


Targeted Early Help



£1.8M (27%)

Education, Employment & Skills



£6.3M (39%)

Public Health including school nursing, health visiting & oral health programmes



£5.2M (36%)






We know that some families in some parts of the District experience many more difficulties than others.  This means we will need to target our reducing resources in the best way possible to help families with the challenges they face, particularly in those areas where children have the poorest outcomes.


Shaping the future - what are the changes we are proposing?


In this consultation we are seeking your views on:


·         The proposed new Prevention and Early Help model which includes a combination of a small group of central services and four new Prevention and Early Help teams.

·         The proposed four new 0-19 Prevention and Early Help teams would target those areas with the poorest outcomes.


Each proposed new area team would deliver:


·         The children’s centre core offer to children under 5 and their families

·         Targeted key work with individual children and families (Families First)

·         Parenting support

·         Quality and take up of early education and free childcare

·         Education attendance

·         Diversity and cohesion.

Based on our local Families’ Needs Assessment, the Council is proposing the four area based teams cover the following areas:


·         Keighley and Shipley

·         East

·         West

·         South

A pot of funding would be made available for each of the four proposed areas to support community involvement in the delivery of services.


We are proposing to continue to deliver the following services centrally:


·         The Early Help Gateway, a single point of contact for advice on Prevention and Early Help (incorporating Families Information Service).

·         Oversight of education safeguarding including children missing from education.

·         Specialist behaviour support and inclusion for children with additional needs.

·         Short breaks for disabled children.

·         Intensive family support to prevent children coming into care.

·         Youth offending services.

·         Service support, for example admin, finance and performance management.

This proposed new model would cut out duplication and provide a ‘whole family’ approach so families do not receive a series of interventions from different services.


The proposed model also includes the Council’s plans to recommission health visiting, school nursing and oral health services and these services will be fully joined up and integrated with the proposed four area Prevention and Early Help teams. These services will include both universal and targeted services focused on the Healthy Child programme which will include high impact areas and the mandated health checks for children and families.


The proposed model also aligns with the Council’s youth services and ward partnerships which will continue to be managed within the Council’s Place Services.


How would proposals affect children’s centres?


The proposal means that we would move away from providing the children’s centre core offer through the seven standalone children’s centre clusters to deliver the offer through the proposed four 0-19 Prevention and Early Help teams.


We propose to continue to provide services for babies, children and young people through a range of local sites including the existing children’s centre buildings. There are no proposals to close any individual children’s centre buildings at this stage.


We are proposing to change the following buildings to become outreach bases. These would still be expected to deliver a minimum of 8 hours of activities per week with babies, children and families:


·         Hirst Wood

·         Highfield

·         Parkland

·         Farcliffe & Lilycroft

·         Princeville

·         Bierley

·         Tyersal

·         Wyke

We would continue to work with local communities and our partner organisations including health, the police and voluntary sector to make the best use of resource we have available.


The proposals would see responsibility for short breaks and specialist behaviour support for disabled children move from Specialist Services to the proposed SEND Services.


The proposals would also see responsibility for assessed contact (for children subject to care proceedings) remaining within Children’s Specialist Services.

The Council would continue with plans to buy in services related to short breaks, Families First key workers and other targeted services.


What would be the impact of the proposals on frontline services?


By making these changes, it may mean that access to services from where they are currently delivered may change.  It would also mean that some of the services offered are likely to change or may be delivered in a different way.


The Council’s preferred proposed option aims to limit cuts to frontline services as much as possible. However, because of government cuts, the Council would not be able to afford all the services it currently pays for.


The Council is working increasingly with local people and communities to see what part they can play in helping to deliver services and outcomes by themselves.


What have we considered when developing these proposals?


There are a number of factors that we have taken into account when drawing up the proposed model. These include:


·         Local knowledge and feedback from our earlier engagement exercise during the Summer.

·         Statutory and legal requirements the Council must adhere to for delivery of our services.

·         The way in which families, children and young people currently access services and information including the frequency of activities and attendance within our current provision.

·         The need to save money while continuing to offer the best level of Prevention and Early Help services we can within the resources we have.

·         The potential impact of change on different local groups and the varying needs of communities.

·         Information about deprivation and levels of need across the Bradford District.

·         Information about disability.

·         Information from different interested parties both locally and nationally.

The feedback from this consultation will help us build a strong picture of the impact of the proposed changes on our families and local communities before final decisions are made.


Why are you only consulting on this proposed model?


The Council’s Executive looked at a number of different potential models for delivering Prevention and Early Help services at its meeting in November 2017. The alternative models considered could have potentially resulted in either larger reductions in frontline services or bigger changes to the way services are delivered which could potentially have caused greater disruption to service delivery.


How can I have my say?


There are a range of ways to have your say about the proposals around Prevention and Early Help Services, and we want to hear what you think.

You can have your say on the proposed model in the following ways:


·         Complete the online consultation questionnaire.

·         Pick up a questionnaire at your local children's centre or library, and drop it off at Margaret McMillan Tower, Princes Way, Bradford, BD1 1NN or email it to  when you have completed it.

·         Attend one of the consultation events which we are running across the District. You can come and talk to us about the proposed changes and let us have your comments and responses to the consultation, or we can also provide you with support to complete the consultation questionnaire.

·         You can email your comments and responses to the consultation and/or any question(s) you have about the consultation to

·         You can also send your comments and responses to the consultation and/or any question(s) you have about the consultation to BRADFORD COUNCIL FREEPOST or hand deliver to: 1st Floor, Margaret McMillan Tower, Princes Way, Bradford, BD1 1NN


The consultation runs from 15 November 2017 to 12 February 2018.


When would the proposed changes happen?


We want to be sure that when we plan changes they take into account the views of people living and working across the Bradford District.


A final decision will be taken by Bradford Council’s Executive in April 2018.


This will take into account the findings of the consultation alongside a wide range of other information including legal responsibilities, financial information, analysis of risk and the impact assessment.


Support for staff who may be affected by the proposed changes


Non Council staff who may be affected by these proposed changes can book on to a range of support courses and learning resources.


If you require technical assistance to book, contact the Evolve Team at or on 01274 434503.


Council staff who may be affected by these proposed changes should visit the Prevention and Early Help support pages on BradNet.

Supporting documents