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Evidence tells us that children and family services are not working together as they should and all too often people still don’t know where to go to get help. Children and Family Hubs are proposed as a “game changer” for public services, building on a tried and tested approach in Sure Start Children’s Centres to extend their reach to wider services and social care that delivers better outcomes for all.
Whilst life for children and families has changed dramatically over the last 30 years, services and support have often struggled to keep up. Children and Family Hubs are a proposed new local infrastructure for services and support for children, young people and families - from Early Intervention to social care: using money and resources more efficiently; doing more and doing it better; utlising the strength of families in their communities to improve lives now and for the future; and making Britain great for children and families.
Sarah Champion, MP for Rotherham
"After the horrific abuse suffered by children in my constituency, I am often asked what we need to do to combat child abuse and raise awareness in our communities. One of the answers I give is that we have to find a way to make public services work more closely together, to share information and to put the needs of children and families at the centre of what they do. That's why I'm fully behind 4Children's proposal for Children and Family Community Hubs where services come together to focus on children and families - from ante-natal care through to social care. Evidence from Rotherham has shown that we urgently need to reform the way we support and protect children. Introducing Children and Family Community Hubs should be the first place to start."
Annette Brooke, MP for Mid Dorset and North Poole
“4Children’s proposal for Children and Family Hubs show how much further we can go to improve how we support children and families. Building on the success of Sure Start Children’s Centres and joining up services around the needs of children and families is long overdue.”
Tim Loughton, MP for East Worthing and Shoreham
"This report is a timely and very useful contribution to the future of children’s centres. With recent revelations over child abuse, perinatal mental health, troubled families and pressure of children growing up and youth services one thing is clear – that we need to accelerate more seamless joint working between agencies to give support to families as early as possible. Children centres are the obvious hubs to co-locate services and professionals making it easier for families and children to access at all stages, and for as wide an offer as possible of preventative help and reactive support services. This ‘blanket’ around the family approach has proved its worth elsewhere and if we are to get the most out of our children’s centres they need to open for longer and able to entice users in for a wider variety of reasons. This has to be a win win proposal offering financial economies of scale but more importantly social benefits from making sure we can give the right support at the right time to every member of a family. The most successful children’s centres bustle like Piccadilly Circus, we need them all to."
Councillor Sir Steve Houghton, CBE, Leader of Barnsley Council
"The proposal developed by 4Children strikes a cord within Local Authorities that are in the midst of reshaping essential services for children and families to ensure that there are a significant and sustained improvements in outcomes for all children but especially the most vulnerable. The proposal to explore the opportunities of developing Integrated Family Care Hubs will be useful in supporting the design, scope and shape of services within communities and will provide authorities with valuable intelligence and evidence. In Barnsley, we are proposing the development of Family Centres providing early help to families with children pre-birth to 25 years building on the strengths and expertise developed through the Children’s Centres in the borough. The Family Centre offer will meet need at the point at which it first emerges and aim to reduce demand on specialist services. The outcome of the project being led by 4Children will provide valuable learning and help to progress this approach."
Lyn Brown and Sharon Hodgson Chair and Vice Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Sure Start Children’s Centres:
“Investing in children and their families is the surest way to both improve their lives and to make public services more sustainable for the future. Where it works well, Sure Start already does exactly that: reaching out to families, turning their lives around, and improving the life chances of all children, but especially the most vulnerable.
“This report provides an important contribution to the debate about how we can build on that best practice and other initiatives around the country to ensure that we are getting the most out of all the public services which might come into contact with families, and there are no more natural hubs than Children’s Centres to bring all that work together.”