Reports

Planning Early Childhood Services in 2020

Publisher:

Early Intervention Foundation

Publication Date:

November 2020

Summary:

The aim of this review, commissioned from the EIF by the Department for Education, is to understand contemporary local practice in children’s centres and family hubs and explore how far this and existing research can guide future development. Key messages include the need to be clear about what a local area is seeking to achieve through its early childhood services and then design them in a way likely to achieve this purpose; the importance of sharing local practice and experimentation as there is a strong appetite for peer-to-peer learning opportunities; and an emphasis on effective local planning and implementation. 

Quote There is a logical case for more holistic and joined-up approaches to delivering area-based family services, which responds to concerns about a lack of service integration and artificial service boundaries...the next step is to test this theoretical case through robust evaluation.

“What about me?” Reframing Support for Families following Parental Separation

Publisher:

Report of the Family Solution Group (Subgroup of The Private Law Working Group)

Publication Date:

November 2020

Summary:

This report highlights unfinished business from the landmark Children Act 1989 and brings together key voices over recent years all focused on finding better ways to achieve good co-parenting between separated parents. It emphasises that many of the 40% of separating parents who turn to the Family Court instead of making decisions between themselves about their children, have relationship issues rather than legal issues. Family Hubs are key access points where they can receive the relational help they need and ease pressure on the courts.

Quote Family Hubs are an opportunity to fulfil combined policy objectives...[and] could be used as a local source of information and to signpost appropriately to reliable providers of services in the area...Crucially the Family Hub could provide the signposting and gateway to the range of other direct support services to children which are so sadly lacking at present.

Levelling up our communities: proposals for a new social covenant

Publisher:

Danny Kruger MP

Publication Date:

September 2020

Summary:

This report sets out ‘a series of proposals to sustain the community spirit we have seen during the coronavirus pandemic.’ It asserts that a new era, which is now beginning, of economic and social policy must address the UK’s regional and social inequality by ‘putting communities at the heart of policy making.’  It also sets out proposals for a new social covenant that centres on a vision for a more local, more human, less bureaucratic, less centralised society in which people are supported and empowered to play an active role in their neighbourhoods. 

Quote The concept of the ‘hub’ is vital to the emergence of the new, decentralised, anti-silo social model we need. Instead of vertical hierarchies reaching up to Whitehall, we need horizontal networks, connected at nodes in the community which help people stitch together the combination of services and opportunities they need. Another vital variant on the theme is the Family Hub, which brings together prenatal care, birth registration, health visiting, parenting classes and other services for parents and families in a single building. The 2019 Conservative Manifesto committed to establishing a network of Family Hubs across the country. This work should be expedited.

Best Beginnings in the Early Years

Publisher:

The Office of the Children's Commissioner

Publication Date:

July 2020

Summary:

The Children’s Commissioner highlights the need for a national infrastructure of Family Hubs delivering against an agreed outcomes framework, to transform early years’ provision and be a ‘centre point of support for children and families…the gateway to multiple services’. The teams within them would be ‘responsible for coordinating early years services and support across the local area, to ensure all children who need help get it.’

Quote "Some parents may want help to find work, or deal with the new strains on their relationship, or on their mental health, that can come with having a baby – and those stressful issues may also be making it harder for them to give their young children the loving attention they need. The Hubs would also have these more targeted services – including perinatal and infant mental health teams, JobCentre advisors, Speech and Language Therapists and housing teams – co-located within the service."

Living in our Shoes: Understanding the needs of UK Armed Forces families

Publisher:

Ministry of Defence

Publication Date:

June 2020

Summary:

In January 2019, the then Defence Secretary, The Rt Hon Gavin Williamson CBE MP, commissioned Andrew Selous MP to conduct an independent review to consider the diverse needs of Service families, assess whether the current support offer is meeting these needs, and make recommendations accordingly. The focus of this review was on currently Serving personnel, including those preparing to leave the Armed Forces, and their families. Key themes emerged during the review about the challenges experienced by military families today which are regarded as detrimental to modern family life and relationships. These include accommodation; mobility; deployment; impact of Service life on military children and young people; employment and careers of spouses/partners; health and well-being of Serving personnel and family members; and the impact of Service life on personal relationships.

Quote Recommendation 93:  The Armed Forces and Ministry of Defence to 'promote pro-active support to enhance wellbeing through a family centre/family hub on every military base as the safe ‘go to’ place for information, group activities, education, co-working hubs, children’s activities, informal peer support and professional support programmes, and to encourage community integration.'

Early Help System Guide

Publisher:

Ministry of Housing, Community & Local Government

Publication Date:

April 2020

Summary:

This Early Help System Guide is intended to guide conversations between local partners, think about the right questions, and develop a common language for the changes we all want to see. It is based on what is working around the country and so is a living tool that will adapt as national transformation develops. It draws on the national vision for early help, defined as the total support that improves a family’s resilience and outcomes, or reduces the chance of a problem getting worse. The vision looks at the early help system from the point of view of families, communities, people in the diverse workforce and leaders.

Quote ‘There is a professional family support service. Whole family working is the norm for all people-facing public services through a shared practice model. And early help and family support is seen as everyone’s responsibility...Public services work together in integrated hubs based in the community with a common footprint.’