Cornwall has been chosen as a national ‘trailblazer’ to lead the way in offering support to parents, carers and children through its network of Family Hubs.
Prime minister Rishi Sunak visits a Cornwall Family Hub. Photograph: Simon Walker/10 Downing Street
The county already has 23 Family Hubs spread across its communities and will now receive £4.7m over three years to further improve and develop them.
It is one of 75 local authority areas to benefit from the investment from the Government’s Family Hubs and Start for Life grant programme.
Family Hubs are designed to be a ‘one-stop shop’ for families, offering everything from general parenting advice and infant feeding support to antenatal and mental health support.
They will also bring together wider services such as advice on getting into work, relationship building and stop smoking services.
In Cornwall, the money will be used to further improve our Family Hub network, including:
- Development of welcoming and inclusive Family Hub environments with new digital technology and improved space available for professionals to deliver a range of clinics.
- Offer of both online and face-to-face support to help parents develop new skills, confidence and relationships with their babies, children and other families.
- Launch of a new webpage www.cornwall.gov.uk/startforlife to give families all the latest up-to-date information on services and support from pregnancy to age two in one place.
- Investment in peer support programmes and commissioned services.
- Development of infant feeding support services.
- Development of perinatal mental health services.
- Development of services to support learning at home.
- The programme will be supported by the creation of a parent/carer panel in Cornwall, to ensure that the voices of a diverse group of parents, carers and families are heard.
Kate Evan-Hughes, service director for education and community health, said: “Our whole approach to helping families in Cornwall is based on Early Help — helping more families earlier, and more effectively. Our Family Hubs are a huge part of that, providing families with easy access, close to where they live, to a wide range of education, healthm and social care services so that they get the right support at the right time as their babies and children grow up.
“We have some amazing practitioners working hard to transform children’s lives and this funding will help them continue to do this.”