Only new child centres to get cash

The government’s pledge to fund 14 new supervised child contact
centres has been criticised by existing centres, which do not
qualify for a share of the £3.5m start-up money yet are
struggling for survival.

June Thoburn, vice-chairperson of Norfolk and Norwich Families’
House, which provides a supervised contact service, said it was not
cost effective to start up new centres while letting those that
were struggling close down.

“It would have been much cheaper to keep existing centres going
than to set up new ones and let the ones already in existence go
bankrupt,” she said.

Despite only running a pilot, her service will have to close if no
funds become available. It will be able to continue for only six
more months for families who are already attending the centre.

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