People are being encouraged to have their say over plans to redesign children's services in Wolverhampton.

The City of Wolverhampton Council has put forward a series of proposals designed to improve early intervention, help prevent family breakdown and ultimately reduce the number of children having to be taken into care.

Council chiefs want to hear the views of service users past and present though a number of consultation events which have taken place over the last few weeks have been poorly attended.

Councillor Val Gibson, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Children and Families, said: "It's really important that families and other stakeholders have their say over these proposals because we need existing and potential service users to help us design children's services which are going to help them.

"We've already held a number of consultation events for service users and members of the public. They have been extensively promoted, but unfortunately attendance has been very low.

"I appreciate this is a very busy time of year, but I would encourage people to make every effort to attend one of the final 3 sessions - taking place this week and next - or have their say by completing a short online survey.

"Their views count, and will help us shape a service which will help transform young people's lives for the better."

Under the proposals put forward by the council, 8 new Strengthening Families Hubs will be established across the city, with teams operating from them to offer help and advice on a range of issues, including parenting support, family mediation and relationship counselling, child development and play and behaviour management.

The teams will focus on children of all ages, rather than as 2 separate age groups which is currently the case, enabling them to take a "whole family" approach, and there will also be greater emphasis on providing help and support in the family home, rather than solely from the new Hubs and their associated outreach bases around the city.

The proposals seek to build on the good work that is already taking place through the council's transformation programme, which has put greater emphasis on tackling problems within the family unit and offering support at an earlier stage.

National research shows that outcomes for children in care are generally not good enough, while a recent local review of cases finding around a quarter of children may have been prevented from going into care if their families had received better support sooner.

Councillor Gibson added: "We are committed to doing all we can to ensure that children are able to grow up safely and happily with their families.

"There is already a great deal of excellent work taking place across the city to support children and families in need and we want to build on this by making best use of the resources available to us."

The remaining consultation events are taking place at Bilston Community Centre on Friday 11 December from 2pm to 3.30pm, Children's Village, Wednesfield, on Monday 14 December from 9.30am to 11am and Bingley Children's Centre on Wednesday 16 December from 11.30am to 1pm.

People can have their say by completing a short survey available at Type=articles;Articleid=7869;Title=Surveys;. For more details, please contact Laura Gilyead on 01902 552339 or by emailing

  • released: Wednesday 9 December, 2015