Government announces major expansion of Family Hubs network
Thousands of families are set to benefit from improved local support as the Family Hubs rollout continues.
The Department for Education has announced that 75 areas will benefit from the £300 million investment up to 2025, with new Family Hubs offering support from conception through to age 19, or up to 25 for children with special education needs and disabilities.
In a launch statement the Government said “Strong, supportive families make for more stable communities and happier individuals. Investing in families and making sure they get the support they need from birth through to adulthood helps with children’s educational attainment, wellbeing and life chances, while also improving wider outcomes such as poor mental health and unemployment.
Previously these services could be disjointed and hard to navigate but family hubs will act as a ‘one stop shop’ to offer guidance and advice on a range of circumstances including, infant feeding, mental health support, health visits and parenting classes.
Hubs will also bring together wider wraparound services that can make a huge difference to people who need extra support – such as advice on getting into work, relationship building and stop smoking services.”
14 local authority areas will become trailblazers and receive extra funding. These will lead the way and support other local authorities to improve services that are offered to families, so that these can be rolled out more widely across the country.
The trailblazer areas include Torbay, Sheffield, County Durham, Cornwall, Salford, Kent, Sunderland, Manchester, Northumberland, Hull, Coventry, Blackpool, East Sussex and Isle of Wight
Children, Families and Wellbeing Minister, Claire Coutinho said: “Having children can be really tough as well as bringing so much joy. All families, from time to time, will need a helping hand.
Family hubs bring services together helping parents, carers, children and young people to access the support they need more easily.
Parenting advice ranges from support with breast feeding and mental health to guidance on how to give children a head start on their learning.”
Separately, the Government has also confirmed the final five areas to receive investment from the Family Hubs Transformation Fund, which will transition services which used to operate under the Sure Start banner over to the Family Hub model. This will enable a further 12 local authorities across England to open family hubs by March 2024.
The full list of local authorities to receive a share of the Family Hubs Transformation fund include Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, Brighton and Hove, Cheshire East, Cumbria, Dorset, Hammersmith and Fulham, Leicestershire, Merton, Solihull, Stockport, Wirral and York.
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Published on 10th February 2023