Agenda item

Supporting Families: Family Hubs in Nottingham City

Presentation from Julia Bramble (Service Manager- Early Help Services) Paul Martin (FIP Manager) and Veronica Fairley (Deputy Manager -Children and Families)



Julia Bramble (Service Manager- Early Help Services) delivered a presentation to the Board and explained that in November 2021 the Autumn spending review – Government announced £82M to support family hubs with first £12M released for the Family Hub Transformation Fund to support 12 local authority areas, who do not currently have family hubs of which Nottingham City Council had submitted a bid. The following points were highlighted:


a)  The Government were committed to championing the introduction of Family Hubs and preferred approach would be to include hub buildings and virtual offers using a ‘hub & spoke’ delivery model that includes outreach in the community and support in the home.


b)  It is intended that the Family Hubs provide a single point of access to families, offering a ‘one-stop shop’ of family support services across their social care, education, mental health, physical health needs and other children and adult services. The focus will be on the use of Community venues to offer a blended approach that will not excluded those who are living with digital poverty so that all users can access services.


c)  There would be various key services that would be delivered and despite a reduction in budget, it was considered that the Hub approach would continue to offer much needed support and adjust how the Council delivers its services.


d)  Family Hubs would offer a multitude of services and would bridge any gaps that are currently evident. The services offered would include family counselling, youth work, early help, birth registration, youth mental health hubs which would meet all of the needs throughout the process, without the need to signpost people to other various places.


e)  There were 3 principles underpinning the family hub delivery which were:

1)  Access

2)  Connection

3)  Relationships


f)  In order to deliver the hubs well, it would be necessary for staff to be able to respond to every family and to link them to the appropriate services. There would be co-production with other agencies, not just Local Authorities, but also with the community and voluntary sector.


g)  A key to this success would be on families only needing to their story once. There would also be strength based approach to support resilience and to build on family relationships; this would more likely prevent abuse within families reduce the likelihood of situations escalating into domestic abuse.  


h)  It was noted that the funding is for the change process only and not for service delivery. The Board were informed that the funding was to transform to a family hub model of service delivery and open hub(s) by March 2024


i)  The £1m grant would be partitioned with £833K Programme Expenditure

to fund a local transition team, local consultation, workforce development, development of a digital strategy/data strategy, marketing and communication with families and a £167K Capital Expenditure which would financially contribute to adapting existing buildings; improving accessibility and to enable multi-agency working. This could include, for example, IT upgrades; new furniture to ensure suitability for older children; and new equipment such as sinks or specialist flooring for clinical use.


j)  The bid would need signing off by the Director Children & Adult Services, Director of Public Health and Health and the Well Being board and the Children’s Partnership Board were being asked to agree and support and it was requested that the Board is built into the governance structure for the Family Hubs. They would be provided with updates on the transition and would receive updates and reports on progress, risk and challenges.


The Chair thanked everyone for their contributions to the presentation and stated that it was key that the Children’s Partnership Board support the bid and noted that the governance of the family hubs would be paramount to the success of the hubs. The Chair left the meeting having thanked theHead of Children's Strategy and Improvement for her efforts during her employment, handed over to the Vice Chair.


In response to questions asked, the following information was given:


k)  If funding was approved a Communications and Marketing Officer would be recruited to ensure that the message was delivered about changes to the services; service users would be made aware and signposted correctly as would all partners to maximise cohesion.


l)  The location of the Hubs were not yet established and would have to go out for public consultation, but efforts would be made to make them as accessible as possible to those living in and around the city.


m)  Focus would be placed on the 0-19 year old age bracket rather than the 0-5 years that is currently offered. Work was underway with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) who had been tasked with establishing Youth Hubs both to learn from and to ensure that there was no duplication of work. SEND families would also be involved to add value and insight as part the consultation.  


The Vice-Chair thanked everyone for their participation and their hard work and wished them every success in getting a successful bid.