Reports

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."

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.’

A Manifesto for Children

Publisher:

Office of the Children’s Commissioner

Publication Date:

September 2019

Summary:

Families should not only receive support when they reach a crisis point – many children with severe needs have no support as they do not pose an immediate risk. Approximately 829,000 children are facing complex challenges but are not receiving any help. Local family support is vital to support these ‘low risk’ families as part of a preventative strategy to reduce the number who are escalated to ‘high risk’. 

Quote ‘The Children’s Commissioner wants to see family support put at the heart of children’s social care...This should be delivered through an extended network of family support centres in the most deprived areas, building on existing children’s centres and extended school opening hours; helping families not only with very young children but as their kids grow up.’

Government Response to the Education Select Committee Report on Tackling Disadvantage in the Early Years

Publisher:

Department for Education

Publication Date:

April 2019

Summary:

The Education Select Committee published the report of its inquiry on tackling disadvantage in the early years and the Government responded to the committee’s report. The Government’s response reviewed early years provision and recommended that the Department for Education should resurrect their review of children’s centres and develop a wider, comprehensive strategy for provision of high quality and effective early years services. As part of this the Government recommended that the DfE should explore promoting family hubs as a wider model for provision of integrated services.

Quote ‘We encourage local authorities to adopt the Family Hub approach, which aims to build stronger relationships and co-locate services, if they believe it would deliver improved outcomes for their areas.’

Delivering Children’s Centre Services

Publisher:

Local Government Association

Publication Date:

January 2018

Summary:

The report outlines eight case studies of councils across England who are responding to the challenges of reduced local funding and increasing demand. Many of these councils have expanded their support offer to include families with children older than the early years cut off of 5 years. Some children’s centres have rebranded as Family Hubs but even those who haven’t adopted this terminology have moved to a hub like model with a family focus, community and volunteer involvement and support for families beyond the early years.

Quote Councillor Ros James, Portfolio Holder for Children and Young People said of North East Lincolnshire Council’s move to adopt the Family Hub model: ‘We have always been clear that we needed to develop and build upon the work of our children’s centre model, which was valued within our communities. The move towards family hubs, with an inter-agency focus on prevention, was the next logical step.’

Family Hubs: A Discussion Paper

Publisher:

Office of the Children’s Commissioner

Publication Date:

October 2016

Summary:

Consistent evidence demonstrates that one of the major obstacles to children in need florushing lies in their disrupted home life. Interventions need to focus on strengthening family relationships and Family Hubs offer the potential for a new model of delivery of co-ordinated support for children in need and their families. Family Hubs coordinate statutory and voluntary approaches to tackling the root causes of intergenerational poverty, family breakdown and poor outcomes for children.

Quote "Family Hubs deliver holistic, early intervention services to a whole community. Their introduction is a clear next step to coordinate existing services and support."