Issue details

20/00017 - Recommissioning of Early Help Services



The vision of Early Help and Preventative Services is that every child and young person and their family, who need Early Help services, will receive them in a timely and responsive way, so that they are safeguarded, their educational, social and emotional needs are met, and they achieve good outcomes.


In November 2016, KCC commissioned several Early Help and Preventative Services to complement and support the development of the internal provided Early Help Services. These services include:


·      The Family Support Service – a service to provide early support for families experiencing difficult challenges.

·      The NEET Service – offers support to those young people who have been either NEET in excess of 6 weeks or whom have experienced multiple periods of NEET.

·      The Young Carers Service – a bespoke service that offers support to young people who have a caring responsibility within their family unit.


Since commissioning these service, KCC’s Children, Young People and Education Directorate has undergone a transformation programme integrating internal services to develop the new Integrated Children’s Service. This has included the enhancement of the adolescent offer, investment in training and development, new practice models and the development of a single ‘front door’ for all referrals.


Recommissioning the Early Help services will ensure alignment with the new service arrangements. The existing contractual levers have been utilised to extend all three services until 30th September 2020, allowing the recommissioning to take place alongside the work currently being undertaken to refocus the Early Help element of the Children and Young Person’s Mental Health Service into alternative evidence-based services/interventions.




1.  Recommission a range of Early Help and Preventative Services in line with changes to KCCs Integrated Children’s Services and the Local Transformation Plan for Children and Young People’s Mental Health Services. Affected Services are:


·      The Family Support Service

·      The NEET Service

·      The Young Carers Service


2.    Delegate authority to the Corporate Director for Children, Young People and Education, or other nominated officer to undertake the necessary actions to implement the decision.

Decision type: Key

Reason Key: Expenditure or savings of more than £1m;

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Division affected: (All Division);

Notice of proposed decision first published: 04/02/2020

Decision due: Not before 20th Mar 2020 by Cabinet Member for Integrated Children's Services
Reason: In order that the proposed decision can be published for a minimum of 28 days, in accordance with statutory requirements

Lead member: Cabinet Member for Integrated Children's Services

Lead director: Stuart Collins

Department: Education & Young People's Services

Contact: Christy Holden, Head of Children's Commissioning Tel: 03000 415356.


This work does not represent a significant service change. The contracts have been in place since 2016 and are performing well. Commissioners have started to consult with key stakeholders as part of the recommissioning exercise and will continue work with internal and external stakeholders (including Members, current service providers and the wider market) to best understand how the services should be shaped going forwards. Any proposed amendments to the current service provision will be communicated to schools, police and health providers and take into consideration the voice of the child. Where possible services will be co-designed by service uses and young people will form part of the tender evaluation panels.

Financial implications: Total for services in scope: £2,910,878 There is existing capacity within the service to undertake the recommended changes. Further information on the recommissioning recommendations, including any identified financial savings opportunities, will be provided to CYPE Cabinet Committee on 11th March 2020.

Legal implications: KCC have a duty, under Section 22 of the Children Act 1989, to safeguard and promote the welfare of each child we look after. Section 11 of the Children’s Act 2004 places a duty on a range of organisations and agencies to ensure their functions, and any services that they contract out to others, are discharged having regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. Section 17 Children Act 1989 places a duty on Local Authorities to assess whether a young carer in their area needs support and what those needs.

Equalities implications: An EQIA has been completed as part of the process and will continue to be reviewed as we progress the work. The services in scope form part of the wider Early Help offer and are designed to address the assessed needs of a child and their family through evidence-based interventions. Targeting of services will be based not only on individuals and groups with protected characteristics but also other areas of risk and vulnerability such as deprivation, substance misuse and mental health.