Decision details

Home Visiting Family Support Service SPP

Decision Maker: Executive Member for Children, Young People & Learning

Decision status: For Determination

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


To seek Executive Member approval for the procurement of Home Visiting Family Support Service (HVFSS)


i.       Executive Member to approve the Strategic Procurement Plan for the provision of HVFSS.


ii.     Executive Director to approve a 16-month extension of existing contractual arrangements via waiver until 26/07/2024. The total contract value does not exceed legal thresholds so does not require approval from Legal or Procurement. Monitoring arrangements including KPIs will be agreed with operational colleagues and the provider for the extension period.  


iii.    Executive Member to agree the proposed contractual term of 5 years with a review of the provision in year 3 via an initial PIN notice, to go to an open, single stage tender if suitable providers come forward.


iv.    Executive Member to delegate authority for the contract award decision to the Executive Director: People, subject to successful evaluation of bids. Executive Member to delegate authority for enacting permitted contract extensions to the Executive Director: People.


Reasons for the decision:

i.       The procurement of HVFSS supports the delivery of our Early Help service and helps to meet demand which has increased post Covid.


ii.     The proposed procurement, through a competitive tender process (subject to the outcome of the Prior Information Notice process) will help maximise tender opportunities that will generate value for money and a high-quality HVFSS provision.


iii.     Bracknell Forest Council wants all families to thrive and be supported to reach their full potential. Research shows that Early Help Services, of which HVFSS is part of, can protect children from harm, potentially reduce the need for a referral to child protection services and improve families mid to long-term outcomes.


iv.    This is a long running provision that has been instrumental in providing Youth Counselling for young people in the local community and supports the key objectives in the Bracknell Forest Council Plan, caring for your families and communities.


v.     To be compliant with Public Contract Regulations 2015 and BFC’s Contract Standing Orders, and for timely completion of the tender, award, and mobilisation phases in time for the contract to commence on 28th July 2024.


vi.    The HVFSS will be procured by the Council with the aim to secure a further 5-year contract with a review in year 3 which will allow for any budget restrictions and/or alterations required with respect to demand, services required to meet identified and emerging need. Alongside of this a new lease arrangement, compatible with the terms of the contract would be sought if the current provider was still in situ.


Alternative options considered:

i.       Do nothing: The current Grant Arrangement and associated obligations will lapse, therefore there would be no holistic support for families to meet our duties and the identified needs.


ii.     Extending: Continually extending the current contractual arrangement beyond the 16 months will need to be permitted through additional waivers. The current contract for this service has already been extended twice by waiver. Use of further waivers is not advisable as it does not provide stability for BFC or the provider.


iii.    Spot purchasing without a contractual arrangement: Best Value for money is unlikely to be achieved through spot purchasing and does not allow for BFC to proactively manage the local communities current and future need.

Interests and Nature of Interests Declared:


Reason Key: Affects more than 1 ward;

Wards Affected: (All Wards);

Financial Impact: Unknown until tenders have been submitted

Declarations: None

Subject to Urgent Proceedings: No

Making Representations: In writing to the Executive Director: People

Other reasons / organisations consulted




Contact: Mark Barratt, Interim Assistant Director: Early Help and Communities Email: Tel: 01344 351447, Grainne Siggins, Executive Director People Email:, Thom Wilson, Assistant Director: Commissioning Email: Tel: 01344 354142.

Publication date: 14/03/2023

Date of decision: 14/03/2023

Effective from: 22/03/2023

Accompanying Documents: