A FAMILY support service has raised concerns claiming it could be a risk of losing funding over the launch of a new consultation.
Home-Start South Derbyshire believes the new Family Support Service Consultation could mean its funding to support families in need could be cut.
Derbyshire County Council has to save £157 million over the next four years and is consulting families with young children on what they think of services provided.
Tracey Harris, manager for Home-Start South Derbyshire said “We support the idea of the survey undertaken by the council. However, our families are worried that the council may cut our service and not realise the invaluable support we provide.”
Home-Start has been recruiting and training parent volunteers to support families with young children at home for 29 years. It has supported more than 200 families in the last three years.
Mrs Harris said: “Our contract with the council is due to come to an end. It has been extended in the past but with all the different cuts being made, some are leaning towards children centres or voluntary sectors to reduce costs
“At the moment we don’t know which way it will go.
“We recently commissioned research about what impact we have on service users because that is where our work is targeting and we got impressive results.
“We could lose 70 per cent of our funding. We have some reserves to keep us going but we will have to look for funding elsewhere which will impact on our care.”
Councillor Kevin Gillott, the council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for children and young people, said: “When Home-Start began, we didn’t have all our other services for children and young people in place.
“Research shows the best way to improve children’s lives is to offer help in the early years and, when every penny counts, we need to make sure we are providing the most effective services we can.”
The Family Support Service consultation can be accessed on-line at www.surveymonkey.com/s/DCCFamilySupport or from libraries, GP surgery, health visitor, children’s centre or multi-agency team.