Cllr Stephen Davies, Cabinet Member for Children’s Safeguarding and Early Years, sought Cabinet approval to enter into negotiations with the incumbent providers of targeted family support services via Children and Family Centres in Gloucestershire (encompassing Gloucester City, Forest of Dean, Stroud,
Cheltenham and Tewkesbury districts), namely Barnardos and Aspire Foundation, with a view to extending the term of the council’s existing contracts with them for a further period of 9 months, from 1 July 2023 to 31 March 2024, and to then consider and, if appropriate, approve such extensions.
Over the same period the provision in the Cotswolds would remain with the council’s in-house provider, delivered alongside the Supporting Families Programme.
Having considered all of the information, Cabinet noted the report and
authority to the Executive Director of Children’s Services
1. Enter into negotiations with the incumbent
provider of Targeted Family Support Services within Children and
Family’s Centres in the Gloucester City district and the
Forest of Dean and Stroud districts, namely Barnardos, with a view to extending the term of the
council’s existing contract with it for a further period of 9
months commencing 1July 2023;
2. Enter into negotiations with the incumbent provider of Targeted Family Support Services within Children and Family’s Centres in the Cheltenham and Tewkesbury districts, namely Aspire Foundation, with a view to extending the term of the council’s existing contract with it for a further period of 9 months commencing 1July 2023.
3. Consider and, if appropriate, approve each of the said contract extensions following the conclusion of such negotiations.
Such modifications are necessitated by the transformation proposals the council is developing for its children’s services, in response to the findings of the Ofsted inspection (February 2022) and national reviews, detailed elsewhere in this report, which have made the procurement of two replacement Targeted Family Support Services contracts in the specified districts unachievable until further work is carried out by the council in developing a revised commissioning strategy which incorporates such transformation proposals. It will not be possible to complete such work in time to run a procurement process ready for a contract start date of 1July
2023, i.e., when the council’s current contracts with Barnardos and Aspire Foundation are due to expire.
Separate from the contract extensions referred to in Recommendations (1) (2) and (3) above, but complementary to them, the targeted family support services within Children and Family’s Centres in Cotswold district will continue to be delivered in-house by the council, through the Supporting Families Programme which will have a value of £306,395.