Early Help proposals and consultation

West Sussex County Council is proposing a series of changes to the Early Help service including to:

  • Maintain Early Help services from 11 of our 43 Children & Family Centre buildings; at least one centre in each district and borough of West Sussex
  • Increase the support and focused response to vulnerable children.
  • Ensure families have access to the most appropriate support, including closer working with schools.
  • Protect a full-time drop-in service for young people in each district and borough by merging our 12 Find It Out (youth) Centres with our 11 Children and Family Centres.
  • Cease delivering group work.

This would have the impact of closing 12 Find It Out centres and 32 Children & Family Centres, leaving 11 centres open. A significant number of staff redundancies would be expected to follow.

A 10-week public consultation exercise commenced on 8th March to look further into the impact and possibilities of these proposals. This includes a series of public meetings we would encourage members and their families/friends to attend

UNISON would encourage ALL our members to complete the survey individually and share with anyone with an interest in the proposed changes. This includes any member of WSCC staff who lives and/or works in West Sussex.

Details on the consultation, events and a link to the survey are available as follows:


UNISON will separately be consulting members in Early Help collectively about the proposals, to feed into the public consultation. Look out for a survey to members affected by the proposals and invites to online meetings.

NB the public consultation is quite distinct from the staff employment consultation that would be needed should the proposals be approved following the consultation.