‘Fantastic news’ celebrated as council’s children’s service wins praise from families

Cllr Sue Little

DESPITE a low response to questionnaires, a review of ‘Brighter Futures’ services provided for children in the borough has been hailed as an upbeat view of services welcomed by a senior Thurrock councillor after it revealed support and positive feedback.

The Brighter Futures Children’s Partnership was created to bring together a full spectrum of partners responsible for planning and delivering health and care to the children, young people and Families of Thurrock.

It provides strategic leadership and direction for children’s health and well-being at system, place and community level and it promotes:

  • equality between organisations
  • mutual respect and trust
  • open and transparent communications
  • co-operation and consultation
  • a commitment to being positive and constructive in outlook
  • a willingness to share and learn from others
  • an inclusive approach

‘Brighter Futures’ is used a brand name to further promote these values – for example, Brighter Futures Children’s Centres, Brighter Futures Early Help, Brighter Futures Healthy Families, Brighter Futures Special Education Needs and Disabilities improvement board

Early Help is a universal and targeted service that supports the Brighter Futures vision.

The review was carried out by Thurrock Healthwatch, an independent organisation headed up by chief operating officer Kim James and former councillor and borough mayor Barbara Rice as team leader and operational manager, was created to gather and represent the views of the public and to make sure that the views of the public and people who use services are taken into account.

The review, carried out by Healthwatch Thurrock, received positive feedback from 191 service users during the summer months on their experiences of the Early Help and Children’s Centre services they had used, how they were referred to the services and the sessions they attended.

A thousand users of Brighter Future Services were consulted via an anonymous paper and online survey. All geographical areas of Thurrock were included in the surveys and of the 1000 surveys sent, 191 were completed.

The results of the consultation showed that 100 per cent of the 191 responses identified as having either a ‘happy’ or ‘very happy’ experience of the services they accessed. No ‘unhappy’ or ‘very unhappy’ responses were recorded from any respondents.  

Suggestions of possible improvements to the services ranged from: including more soft play areas/toys, more toddler groups and support for smaller babies, to additional parent groups and more sessions and courses offered across the borough.

Cabinet Member for Social Care, Cllr Sue Little, said “The outcome of this review is fantastic news for our Brighter Futures team, and a very encouraging response to the services we provide to children, young people and families across Thurrock.

“The Brighter Futures Children’s Partnership delivers a vast range of services including: Early Help, Prevention and Support Service, Thurrock School Health Service, Health Visiting Team, and also includes our ten Children’s Centres.

“It’s clear that our residents want to see more of these fantastic sessions on offer, and by reflecting on our performance we can ensure the voices of service users are at the heart of what Brighter Futures offers our residents.”

The full report is available to review at https://www.thurrock.gov.uk/childrens-care-professionals-partnerships/brighter-futures-childrens-partnership