FAMILIES with young children living in and around Ashbourne are being asked to help the county council shape its services.
Derbyshire County Council is forming a new strategy aimed at helping families in need seek help and a consultation has begun with parents to ensure the strategy is effective.
As part of the consultation, which is being launched as the county council looks for ways to save £157 million over the next four years, a questionnare has been launched to guage reaction on the new strategy.
Councillor Kevin Gillott, deputy leader of Derbyshire County Council and cabinet member for children and young people, said: “There have been big changes in the way we help families with young children and we’d like to know what people think of these services.
“We’re also facing significant financial challenges and have to save £157million over the next four years. This means we need to look at what we deliver and how we deliver it.”
Changes so far include the creation of a network of children’s centres delivering targeted support to families, a programme for parents and carers to have fun playing and learning with their children language skills activities, exercise and nursing schemes and support from midwives and health visitors.
In July 2012, the Children’s Trust Board, on which Derbyshire County Council leads, adopted the Derbyshire Early Intervention and Prevention Strategy which aims to provide evidence-based integrated services for families.
Coun Gillott added: “Helping families before small issues become bigger problems is essential.
“Our early intervention strategy aims to identify those families and offer help in the early days to make a positive difference. However, this has to be delivered within our budget.
“That’s why we’re asking families – those who use our services as well as those who don’t – for their help to shape how we do things in the future.”
Copies of the questionnaire are available at children’s centres, GP surgeries, Ashbourne library and at other county council-run centres across the county.
People can also find the surveys and fill them in online by visiting www.surveymonkey.com/s/DCCFamilySupport
Parents and carers are also being invited to three focus groups taking place in September and October.
To take part call Anne Paxton on 01629 535713 or email email@example.com