A total of 75 local authorities across England have been announced as eligible for a share of £302m to create new Family Hubs in their areas as part of the government’s levelling up drive.
Family Hubs give parents advice on how to take care of their child and make sure they are safe and healthy, providing services including parenting and breastfeeding support.
The Family Hubs and Start for Life programme is jointly overseen by the Department for Health and Social Care and the Department of Education and includes:
- £100m for bespoke parent-infant relationship and perinatal mental health support,
- £82m to create a network of Family Hubs, improving access to a wide range of integrated support services for families with children aged 0-19.
- £50m to establish breastfeeding support services.
- £50m to fund evidence-based parenting programmes.
- £10m to support local authorities to publish a clear ‘Start for Life offer’.
- A further £10m to trial innovative start for life workforce models.
As well as this, the package also includes £10m to enable five local authorities to trial and evaluate innovative workforce models, investing in developing the modern, skilled workforce that we need to support babies and families.
The Department is seeking to recruit up to six councils to partner with them to support Beta testing and the implementation of the information-sharing digital solutions.
Commenting, Education Secretary, Nadhim Zahawi said:
“If we are to level up outcomes for children facing the biggest challenges, this needs to start at home.
"Being part of a stable, loving family gives a child an early advantage, which is why we are investing so significantly in helping every family to access the vital services that help them and their children thrive.
“Evidence shows that some of the most disadvantaged families don’t access vital services.
"Family Hubs offer localised early help and intervention, from early years support to parenting classes, all of which can make a transformative difference in the lives of parents and carers who may not have a support network.
“We also have a responsibility to protect young people leaving care, to play our role fully as their corporate parent when their birth parents are unable.
"This funding will provide them with personal support and guidance as they embark on adult life and contribute fully to their own communities.”
Director of Clinical Division at Anna Freud Centre, Andrea King said:
“We warmly welcome the additional investment from the government into the continuing implementation of family hubs across England.
"It will provide much needed funds to support local children’s services leaders to collaborate and co-design support for some of our most vulnerable children and families through the delivery of Family Hubs.
“By working within communities and alongside children’s services, Family Hubs are able to deliver early intervention and support services when the need arises.
"This funding will provide thousands of children and young people with more opportunity to fulfil their potential.”
PSE365 will be hosting a Public Sector Levelling Up virtual event on 17 November, sign up here.