Family Hubs rollout will support local families and young children

Family Hubs rollout will support local families and young children

Families across England will be offered help and support with issues such as infant feeding and mental health as the government announce the roll out of Family Hubs and the Start for Life programme.

Blackburn with Darwen is one of the 75 areas that will benefit from the £300 million investment over three years.

The new hubs will offer support from conception through to age 19, or up to 25 for children with special education needs and disabilities. Parents will also be able to access a range of support through the hubs from midwifery to mental health support, health visiting to infant feeding advice.

The 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 five.

The four Children Centres in the borough that will be our Family Hubs are:

1.Little Harwood 2. Darwen 3. Livesey 4. Shadsworth

Hancock Street, Highercroft, Wensleyfold and Audley will continue as Children Centres offering a wide range of family services and activities.

Councillor Julie Gunn, Executive Member for Children, Young People and Education, said:

“As a council we are continuously investing in families as we want our children and young people to have the absolute best start. The funding to transition four of our children centres in to Family Hubs means that we can continue to ensure support is available for our parents, children and young people. I’m so excited that Blackburn with Darwen is one of the 75 areas that will get support to improve the lives of our families. We recognise that supporting families from birth until adulthood improves wellbeing and life chances. We want every child and young person to have the opportunities to fulfil their potential and the Family Hubs can help us with our mission to achieve this”.

Work has already been taking place to make sure our residents have their say as to how the Family Hubs will work. Parent and Carer Workshops have been taking place since the beginning of the year to find out what services are needed the most and how the current Children Centres can improve.

Maria Nugent, Early Years’ Service Lead at Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, added:

“Blackburn with Darwen has always endeavoured to be innovative and at the forefront of improving services for children and families. We will transition four of our children centres to become the family hubs. Our children centres have always been a ‘one stop shop’ to offer guidance and advice on a range of circumstances. Blackburn with Darwen will provide not only a family hub in each locality but also children centres. Our vision is to widen our partnerships to deliver more services for our families within each Family Hub locality. Already we have been speaking with local parents and partners to explore what services could be on offer and assessing if we need to improve existing service offers”.

Hubs will also bring together wider wraparound services that can make a huge difference to people who need extra support – such as advice on getting into work, relationship building and stop smoking services.

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