The government has announced the creation of thousands of new “family hubs” that will offer local support to families with issues including relationship building and mental health.
The hubs will act as a “one-stop shop” to offer guidance and advice, with the government aiming to ensure families get the support they need from birth through to adulthood, improving children’s educational attainment, wellbeing, and life chances, while also improving wider outcomes such as poor mental health and unemployment.
75 areas will benefit from the £300 million investment up to 2025, with the new hubs offering support from conception through to age 19, or up to 25 for children with special education needs and disabilities.
In the nearer future, 14 local authority areas will become trailblazers and receive extra funding. These trailblazers will lead the way and support other local authorities to improve services that are offered to families, so that these can be rolled out more widely across the country.
Children, Families and Wellbeing Minister, Claire Coutinho said:
“Having children can be really tough as well as bringing so much joy. All families, from time to time, will need a helping hand.
Family hubs bring services together helping parents, carers, children and young people to access the support they need more easily.
Parenting advice ranges from support with breast feeding and mental health to guidance on how to give children a head start on their learning.”
Parents will also be able to access a range of support through the hubs from midwifery to mental health support and health visiting. Hubs will also provide early language and communication development for young children to set the foundations for lifelong learning and prepare them for school at age 5. Minister Neil O’Brien said:
“Every child should have the support to be able to reach their full potential.
There is robust evidence that the 1,001 critical days from pregnancy to the age of two are vital for development and impact a child’s physical and emotional health for the rest of their life.
Better access to family hubs and additional funding for critical Start for Life services will provide more families with the right support for their baby to get the best start in life.”