Cheshire East Council to lead transformation of children’s services and develop family hubs
24 May 2022
Cheshire East Council has been successful in its bid for a share of the government’s Family Hubs Transformation Fund announced this week.
Family hubs are a way of joining up services locally, improving the connections between families, professionals, services, and providers, and put relationships at the heart of family support.
Up to £1 million will be awarded to the council to develop family hubs across Cheshire East, supporting children and young people from birth until they reach the age of 19 (or up to 25 for young people with special educational needs and disabilities). The council is one of only 12 local authorities to receive the funding in the government’s announcement and will have until March 2024 to implement the new way of working.
The hubs aim to bring council, health and community services together to provide help to families ensuring they have access to the right support at the right time. Issues such as debt, poor mental health or threat of homelessness can happen to families at any point in a child or young person’s life.
Some of the services that are planned to be delivered from family hubs include:
- Midwifery appointments, health checks, weaning and nutrition advice, early years play education and sensory development;
- Intensive support to reduce family problems that result in family breakdown, working with the child and family to make positive changes;
- Family help and support for children with disabilities or additional needs;
- Practical support around finance, housing and supported learning;
- Youth support services, including youth justice; and
- Mental health support for children, young people, families and new parents
The council plans to develop existing centres to create the hubs for parents/carers of children of all ages, to ensure that they can walk in and access support across a range of services. A digital service will also be developed to provide advice and guidance.
Councillor Kathryn Flavell, lead member for children and families at Cheshire East Council, said: “This is fantastic news for children and families right across Cheshire East. I’m really proud that our bid was recognised as being of high quality, reflecting our passion and dedication to transform services.
“While most children and young people in our borough have good health and wellbeing, sadly, that is not the case for everyone.
“One of our top priorities is to reduce inequalities, promote fairness and opportunity for all and support our most vulnerable residents. Our belief is that by working together we can make our families and communities strong, welcoming and supportive.
“We are so fortunate to have teams of caring, dedicated and committed staff who provide a range of existing family help services, both in the council and across our partners.
“These are delivered from our current children, youth and family centre buildings, which we have continued to run, as we know these are at the heart of our communities and valued by our families.
“This money will be used to enhance those services, providing a local one stop shop to support those who need our help the most.”