Cabinet members to decide on future funding of befriending service

​Date: 25/11/2014

Members of the Cabinet are to decide whether to stop funding a Volunteer Befriending and Home Visiting service, which in 2013/14 reached less than four percent of children across the district.

Councillors will discuss a review of the service, at their meeting on December 2, which outlines why it is no longer considered 'fit for purpose' and is not offering value for money.

The Volunteer Befriending and Home Visiting service is part funded by the Council and currently reaches 295 families, including 710 children. The figures represent only 3.4 percent of families with children under the age of five, across the district. The Council would save £117,000 a year by stopping the funding.

Cllr Olivia Rowley, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: "Although the service does have some benefits it is not meeting the needs of many people.

"We must ensure we make best use of the money we have and ask members if it is appropriate to continue this service."

Wakefield Council is currently redesigning services to offer help at an early stage involving health, education and social support. It plans to help more families across the district, including those with babies not yet born, up to young adults.

A review of the Volunteer Befriending and Home Visiting service found it has a limited impact on a child's emotional health, their learning and development, and in helping families manage their budget.