Stockport

Stockport Council awarded funding from Government’s Family Hubs Transformation Fund

Stockport Council is delighted to announce it has been awarded funding from the Government’s Family Hubs Transformation Fund to help improve the way family help services are run in the borough for children, young people, and families.

Stockport Council is one of just 12 Local Authorities to be allocated a share from a £12m pool of funding to bring together services under the family hub model, a system-wide model of providing high-quality, joined-up, whole-family support services, for families with children of all ages (0-19) or up to 25 with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). The money will be allocated over two years until March 2024.

Family hubs are a ‘front door’ to a range of early help, public health, and wider support services including early language development/home learning environment; parental conflict; serious violence, crime; delivering through schools or voluntary and community sector (VCS) organisations; teenage and adolescents; SEND; and mental health.

Our vision is to transform access to family help and support through a family hub network, building on the established integrated services locality model, widening co-location of teams within the community and outreach opportunities through additional public sector and Voluntary, Community, Faith and Social Enterprise (VCFSE) partnerships. We will focus on extending our reach to families through peer support; the development of relationship support; and a vibrant accessible digital offer.

Stockport’s Family Hubs model will:

  • Ensure there is a clear and simple way to access help and support via physical buildings, outreach, and digital developments with a warm welcome to all families, reducing any stigma in asking for help.
  • Build the network of family hubs based on a strong universal offer, linked to anchor institutions (nurseries, schools, GPs and libraries).
  • Focus on two thematic areas; early childhood development, especially speech, language, communication and improving integrated pathways for children with SEND.
  • Empower families to support their children’s development by providing easy access to information and self-help resources.
  • Develop trusted relationships with communities, further developing relationships and trust with the VCFSE Enterprise sector.

Family hubs are a key part of The Best Start for Life: A Vision for the 1,001 Critical Days, commissioned by the Prime Minister, and chaired by Rt Hon Dame Andrea Leadsom MP, which was published by the Department for Health and Social Care in March 2021. Evidence shows that disadvantaged and vulnerable children, especially a Child in Need, those with a Special Education Need or Disability, or who receive Free School Meals, are more likely to suffer from poor outcomes compared to their peers across the four key domains of development (physical, intellectual, social and emotional, and behavioural).

The move towards a family hub model aims to allow professionals to spend more high-quality time working with the families who need it and can lead to:

  1. For families and children – better access to early help services, professionals and support; better relationship with professionals; and improved experience of getting help
  2. For professionals – improved ways of working and interprofessional collaboration; improved working relationships with families i.e., ‘team around the family approach’), including connections between professionals and across services; improved data-sharing.
  3. At a local commissioning and delivery level – improved partnership working between services; improved governance and decision-making at authority level; clearer and/or shared funding arrangements across services; improved needs assessment, planning and commissioning and delivery of services.

Councillor Mark Hunter, Leader of Stockport Council, said: “We know that a child’s experiences from conception to age five play a critical role in their development. This funding and investment will have a hugely positive impact on the lives of children, young people, and families in Stockport and help to meet their needs. Building on the high quality of our Children’s Services, recognised with last week’s Good Ofsted rating, the Family Hubs Model will provide a single gateway for families to access support, making sure that they are offered the help they need as quickly as possible.”

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