Lancashire County Council has allocated £1.4m in funding to implement a Family Hub network alongside families, charitable, faith, voluntary and statutory service partners across the county.
Family Hubs are a national model that aim to provide high-quality, holistic and rounded support to children, young people and families on the basis they can easily access the help they need, regardless of where in the county they live. Family Hubs will bring services together to support all members of the family minimising the need to search for different types of support that might otherwise be hard to find.
Support available through Family Hub networks begins at pregnancy and progresses through early years, childhood to 19 for young people, or 25 for young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
It includes parenting help, early help and safeguarding as well as mental health support, infant feeding advice and ‘wrap-around’ services such as support for domestic abuse or substance misuse. These services are supported by the voluntary community and faith sector and the network will include support from groups specific to each district who have specialisms or are able to strengthen the professional offer already in place, build positive relationships with families and connect services to deliver improvements in their lives at a local level.
County Councillor Cosima Towneley, Lancashire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Families, said: “Family Hubs will make the process of accessing support much smoother for children and families in our county. Too often families, already going through a challenging time, must tell their story more than once and speak to several practitioners before they receive the support they need. I am confident that Family Hubs will provide a safe, convenient, versatile and practical space where all who seek to use the service will find the various agencies that will help them on their journey.”
The Lancashire Family Hubs programme is a multi-agency partnership work led by Lancashire County Council and is the latest example of the local authority’s long history of working in partnership ways to improve outcomes for children and families.
With the programme currently in its preparation phase, it is estimated that a total of 12 Family Hubs networks will be in place by March 2024, comprising over 60 local centres working with Lancashire’s district and borough councils and hundreds of organisations and professionals to ensure help can be delivered fast and at the right time.