The Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service brings together a range of existing services, having been commissioned by Essex County Council and the West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group.

The service, which is provided by Virgin Care in partnership with Barnardo’s, ensures that families continue to have easy access to local services, but staff are also be able to reach children and families in the community; whether in a local clinic, play area or in a family’s front room. This flexible and innovative new way of working is about providing services without walls and ensuring we are reaching those families who need support the most. The services are for children from before they are born through to the age of 19 (or 25 for young people with special educational needs and disabilities).

We deliver broad areas of support:

  1. Health Visiting: e.g. Antenatal contact, transition to parenthood, SIDS, new baby review, maternal (perinatal) mental health, wellbeing and development of child under 1 year and 2-2 1/2 year reviews, support to ‘be ready for school’
  2. Parenting Support: e.g. breastfeeding support, school entry review, childcare confidence support, support for expectant mother and father
  3. School Nursing: e.g. support for young people in schools with wellbeing and health and mid teen health review and help with family health
  4. Family Health: e.g. substance misuse (parents), contraception advice, nutrition support, mental health (maternal & infant), smoking cessation
  5. Resilience and Development: prepare for learning, DV support, returning to work, accessing ETE, safeguarding
  6. Support for ages 5-19: e.g. dental care, review of immunisation status, appropriate interventions for any physical, emotional or developmental problems, provides children, parents and school staff with information on specific health issues, measuring height and weight
  7. Support for young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) up to the age of 25. Through utilising the family hubs, delivery and outreach sites there is a wide range of universal and target activity that is available for children, young people and families

West Essex CCG joined the procurement process to commission Children’s Community Health Services in West Essex area, including:

  • Child Development Centre
  • Specialist School Nursing
  • Speech and Language Therapy
  • Community Paediatrics
  • SEND Dedicated Officer
  • Specialist A&E Liaison
  • Children’s Community Nursing
  • ASD
  • Dietetics

The new service is result of listening and extensive consultation and involvement of service users. The focus is on making sure that children and young people in Essex have the best possible start in life through community services that are accessible, high quality and meet the identified needs of children, young people and families.

More information about our children and young people’s services:

  • Empowering families – we’re empowering our families by working with the community. Our services are working with their local county councils and education services on the SEND Pathfinder (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) which allows individual integrated health, education and care plans. This includes enabling families that have a personal budget to meet the outcomes of their plan and give them direct control of their child’s health care.
  • Responsive to you – we ask everyone using our service and their families for feedback on their experience so we can find out what we’re doing well and what we need to do better. We have a network of children and young people’s service leads to share examples of best practice and learn together.
  • Safe and consistent – we have to meet rigorous Care Quality Commission (CQC) standards. We run our own internal inspections and have robust governance and reporting systems to monitor how all of our services are doing, so you can be confident that your care, safety and privacy are our absolute priorities.
  • SEND – The Service supports the Essex Local Offer. If you are a young person with, or have a child with special educational needs and disabilities, (SEND) the Local Offer is Essex’s central source of information for SEND services and support. Visit for an easily accessible one stop shop.

Youth Health Champions  – Special School Summary


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