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Children's Centres: Manpower

Volume 475: debated on Friday 9 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) how many children's centre outreach workers he proposes to provide by 2010; (204176)

(2) how many outreach workers he proposes to provide in each children's centre in the super output areas ranked in the (a) first to third, (b) fourth to seventh and (c) eighth to tenth deciles of deprivation by 2010.

We expect all Sure Start Children's Centres to provide outreach services, although the level and intensity of such provision will vary according to the needs of the local community. Outreach is part of the role of a wide range of practitioners. While many practitioners engaged in outreach to families with young children will be employed in a children's centre or by a local authority, we encourage local authorities to build on other existing local capacity, such as health visitors, relevant third sector workers, and trained volunteers. Our priority is to help children's centres in the most disadvantaged areas to build their outreach capacity to meet local needs. In this context, children's centre revenue funding provides local authorities with resources for two additional outreach practitioners per children's centre in the most deprived (super output) areas.

We will be reviewing the delivery of outreach in a range of settings with a view to establishing core principles and standards for effective and comprehensive outreach services. We will support this with appropriate training materials and courses and will provide additional funding for practitioners in children's centres to take up new training opportunities.