Cambridgeshire's new-look child and family centres get seal of approval
More than nine out of 10 of people surveyed this winter said they valued Cambridgeshire County Council’s Child and Family Centres.
In our recent Child and Family Centre survey 93 per cent of the 330 people who shared their views online and at activity sessions agreed that provision - which was reshaped in April - was helpful. The survey ran from September to November 2018 to give families the opportunity to feedback on the new service, and to tell us how the transition period felt.
One respondent said they valued, “Being able to socialise and make new friends.” Another said Child and Family Centres provided, “Somewhere to learn parenting skills for both new parents and parents who were experiencing difficulties”. Another respondent said it was, “Useful to get advice and support from Family Workers and other staff.”
Our refreshed and redesigned Child and Family Centre services launched in April 2018 to better meet the needs of a growing and rural county. The new model delivers services for families with children aged 0-19, and allows buildings to be used more flexibly bringing services closer to the communities which need them via an improved outreach offer.
One of the changes put in place was to run events and activities from a wider range of venues in new locations. Of those survey more than a third (36.67 per cent) said they have attended a session delivered by their Child and Family Centre in an outreach venue such as a sports centre or village hall. One respondent said, “Some different venues, but same staff who are all great.”
Councillor Simon Bywater, chairman of the children and young people committee, said, “We made extensive changes to our Child and Family Centre offer in April of this year and I’m pleased to see that more than 9 out of 10 people surveyed are finding the range of events and activities that we offer helpful. It is also great to see that our outreach events are reaching both existing users and new audiences. It is also encouraging to note that 19 people who responded to the survey expressed an interest in volunteering in our network of child and family centres.”
The top way for people to find out about our services was Facebook with 68.6 per cent saying they found out information this way - almost twice as many as the next most popular choice – our ‘What’s On’ guide. This was followed by those who got information from health professionals or word of mouth. Our new look Facebook pages for each district were also launched in April and our redesigned ‘What’s On’ publications were also praised with 66 per cent liking the new design.
We asked respondents if the changes to the way we deliver our services had affected them directly and 6 out of 10 (62 per cent) said no or that this question wasn’t applicable as they only started using the service since April when the changes were made.