Funding announced for families to access early intervention in more Family Hubs
19th August 2021 | By: Michelle Cunliffe
Today, the Department for Education announced plans to elevate its Family Hubs programme, backed by £20 million of new funding, which will support local areas to set up new Family Hubs across England. Thousands of vulnerable families will benefit from this investment as it will improve their access to early intervention as soon as difficulties arise.
This announcement builds on the Government’s manifesto commitment to champion Family Hubs so that they help provide families with intensive support for their children, not just in the early years but throughout their lives. The Government has already invested £14 million to deliver on this commitment, including the formation of a National Centre for Family Hubs earlier this year, led by the Anna Freud Centre. The National Centre for Family Hubs will help support the scaling up the number of Family Hubs, spreading best practice on what works well and providing a virtual learning network and resource library – as well as providing training, events and expert consultation.
Professor Peter Fonagy, Chief Executive of the Anna Freud Centre, said: “We welcome this £20 million investment from the Government into the work of Family Hubs across England. This additional funding is an opportunity to expand the Family Hub offer across local areas so that more families can access high quality support as soon as they need it.
“The Anna Freud Centre is championing this work through our leadership of the newly founded National Centre for Family Hubs. The evidence is clear that early help is what makes the most difference to the wellbeing of children and their families, and Family Hubs will sit at the heart of communities providing this support. We will continue to work closely with local areas to learn from and share existing expertise about what works best for families. That way, we move one step closer to providing every child with a positive start in life from the very youngest age.”
Vicky Ford, Children and Families Minister, said: “It is absolutely vital that all families across England have access to the same high quality services in their local communities, no matter where they live. Services like these which offer early help and intervention can make a huge difference for parents and carers, levelling up opportunities for every child to fulfil their potential.
“That is why we are championing Family Hubs, and this additional £20 million investment will drive forward this programme, helping to grow and expand Hubs across the country so that even more parents and children can access the early health and education services we know can have a lifelong positive impact.”
The £20 million announced today will include:
- £10 million for the Family Hubs ‘Transformation Fund’, which will support local authorities to open Family Hubs in approximately 10 new areas of England; and
- £10 million to expand the ‘Growing Up Well’ digital project, designed to level up outcomes for vulnerable and disadvantaged families. This involves improving how information is shared between professionals working with families and children in these Hubs.
Many local Councils have already started to open Family Hubs, benefiting families across England. They often operate an ‘open door’ approach, with families able to have better access to vital services and receive support from a range of professionals, including midwives, health visitors, GPs, schools or social services.
Visit the National Centre for Family Hubs website. Read the Department for Education’s announcement.