Children and parents in Norfolk are to benefit from a new cradle to career approach to family support.
The government has just announced that Norfolk County Council will be one of 75 local authorities receiving some of the £302m new Family Hubs and Start for Life funding.
It means the county will receive approximately £6m to further develop its prevention and early help services for families with children and young people up to the age of 19 (25 if they have special educational needs and disabilities).
This is not about introducing a new service or opening new buildings but to allow the county to further develop support for families. Using a whole family approach, the Family Hubs network will give families a single access point to support services that are integrated across health (physical and mental health) and social care as well as voluntary and community organisations and education.
Whilst there will be at least seven physical Family Hub sites in existing community buildings, which families will be able to walk into, services will be delivered largely on an outreach basis. The Family Hub approach will bring together a wide range of services so that families can access support in the spaces and places that they live and visit, such as libraries and community buildings.
The Family Hubs network will provide simple access to ‘Start for Life’ services, providing the best support for babies in the first 1,001 critical days from conception to the age of two, setting them up to maximise their potential for lifelong emotional and physical wellbeing including:
- Perinatal mental health and parent-infant relationships support for families who are expecting a baby or have a baby under the age of two
- Infant feeding support services
- Parenting support for parents of children aged 0-2
- Home learning environment support for parents of children aged 3-4
Cllr John Fisher, cabinet member for Children’s Services at Norfolk County Council, said:
“We want Norfolk’s children to flourish and have the very best start in life, no matter their background or circumstances, so we’re really pleased to have been identified as one of the authorities to benefit from this programme. Family Hubs can provide families with advice and support across a whole range of family issues spanning the 0-19 (25 with SEND age range). They will enable the join up of different agencies supporting families in the county, including from across social care, health, education, and the voluntary sector.
“Family Hubs will support all families across the county, with a focus on reducing inequalities in health and education outcomes for babies, children, and families, which includes support for children with special educational needs and disabilities, and support in preventing parental conflict. These are areas where we know the earlier we can help families, the greater the impact on children’s futures.”