Group which runs Crawley family centres ‘requires improvement’

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Work to bring the town’s Children & Family Centres up to scratch has been recognised by Ofsted – but the service still needs to improve.

The Crawley Children’s Centre Group, which operates six centres across the town on behalf of the county council, was inspected on April 30 and May 1 and the findings were published on May 20.

We are now working on an action plan to continue making improvements

West Sussex County Council spokesman

The report made particular note of work put in by managers to address issues raised at an inspection in January 2014 when the group was branded ‘inadequate’.

It stated: “Considerable improvements have been made in a short space of time to address weaknesses and build strong foundations to secure ongoing improvement.”

One issue which was highlighted for improvement was the number of teenage parents and families in Broadfield who did not make use of the centres, even though they were aware of them.

The report also said a lack of information shared by the midwifery service about expectant mothers hindered efforts to “identify and support priority families”.

It was noted systems to ensure children from lower income families did as well as their better-off peers were not yet sufficiently effective but efforts had been made to establish links with local schools.

A county council spokesman said he was pleased the “considerable improvements” of staff had been recognised by the Ofsted inspectors and added: “We are now working on an action plan to continue making improvements.”

The spokesman said research had been carried out with teenage parents around town to find out why they did not always take up the services on offer.

He added: “We’ll be particularly looking to improve our regular engagement with teenage parents in Broadfield.

“We’ll also work on how to show that quality and impact of services on families who most need support.”

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