Family hub networks in Nottinghamshire - information for professionals
This page has been designed specifically for professionals to understand what family hubs are, how the networks are progressing in Nottinghamshire and provide useful information about how you can get involved, including frequently asked questions.
What are family hubs?
The aim is to have joined up efficient local services which are able to provide the right support at the right time, in the right place. Family hubs aim to make a positive difference to children, young people and their families.
Who are family hubs for?
Family hubs offer support from pregnancy, through the child’s early years, later childhood and into young adulthood, up to the age of 19 (or up to 25 for young people with special educational needs and disabilities).
We want to provide a ‘front door’ to families, offering a ‘one-stop shop’ of family support services across their social care, education, mental health and physical health needs, with a comprehensive Start for Life offer for parents and babies at its core and the underpinning view that families should only need to tell their story once.
Each family hub will be unique and bespoke to the local community it serves and aims to make a positive difference to parents, carers and their children by providing a mix of physical and virtual spaces. As well as outreach, where families can easily access non-judgmental support for the challenges they may be facing. The types of support provided will include universal and targeted services.
Would you like to become part of the family hub network?
We are keen to work in partnership with local organisations, groups and services that have a family focus. If you would like further information, to arrange a meeting or to hear more about becoming involved in local events and meetings to shape family hubs, contact our Family Hub Development Manager Una Daniel, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Frequently asked questions
Family hubs provide support for all families, particularly during the first 2 years of a child's life, but are designed to be particularly accessible to families from lower socio-economic groups, families who have special education needs or a disability, and those from minoritised and seldom heard groups who are experiencing exclusion.
The hubs use a whole family approach to provide an access point to family support services that is integrated across health (physical and mental health) and social care, as well as voluntary and community organisations and education settings. When fully integrated, family hubs could include the following support and a lot more depending on which agencies are working together:
- Information, advice and guidance on a wide range of issues
- Antenatal and postnatal care
- Support groups for new parents
- One-to-one support
- Evidence based parenting programmes
- Health interventions e.g. healthy lifestyles, contraception, substance use
- Money management
- Healthy relationship programmes
- Youth training and employment
- Volunteering opportunities
- Peer support
- Youth services and activities
- SEND services for 0 to 25 year olds
- Housing advice and support
- Welfare rights
- Reducing parental conflict interventions
The term ‘spokes’ is used to describe the range of services, partnerships, groups and buildings that make up a family hub network. The family hub network model is less about delivering support solely from a physical building, but joining existing provision together based around the needs of children and families.
Using a ‘hub and spoke’ model, means that families can better access support because more services (whether they be physical buildings, virtual, home service, or community based) will be part of the family hub network for that area helping to create a universal front door for families.
We have reviewed local data to help us determine the locations and the types of services we should provide to help meet local needs. This work will increase as we engage more families and professionals.
Each family hub network will have a main site open most days, with other spokes provided by a range of services including links to online information for families. In some cases, families would prefer the main site to be located in a town centre, others prefer them to be located in priority neighbourhoods, so their views are critical in shaping future plans.
As part of the family hubs, a virtual offer will be available to support partners, children and families to access information, advice and guidance. We are currently developing a virtual family hub website and will be asking families and professionals to help with this.
There is no additional funding allocated to family hubs. The approach encourages family related services and support provision to work together under the principles that greater accessibility, connection and relationships between families and local services, will ensure children, young people and families can be supported earlier, reducing the need for more specialist intervention.
The government made a manifesto commitment in 2019 to champion family hubs to make effective, integrated early help easily accessible to families. The family hub network model is being evaluated through the National Centre of Family Hubs which was established to research and develop best practice around the integration of services for families, including family hubs, and how best to support vulnerable children.
Currently the children’s centre service supports children and families from conception to 5 years old, and family hub networks extend provision to the age of 19 (up to 25 for young people with special educational needs and disabilities).
If the research of the piloting of family hub networks proves greater outcomes for children and families, it is likely that all the children's centre services will become part of the family hub network model. However, they are being introduced currently as a pilot with the view of gradually extending to more buildings and areas over the next few years.
The creation of family hubs is currently a national priority and the design site phase of the roll-out is being supported by the National Centre for Family Hubs in set locations across the country.
They feature within Nottinghamshire County Council’s 10-year plan and Early Help Strategy.
Our first pilot site was in Retford, Bassetlaw, to test the approach which centred on the three key principles to ensure families experience family related support that is:
- More accessible
- Better connected
We are also developing design sites in Sutton in Ashfield, Newark, Oaktree in Mansfield, and Netherfield with plans to roll family hub networks out across Nottinghamshire in 2024 to 2025 using children’s centre buildings initially.
Each main site will be open Monday to Friday (with some weekend opening) along with a number of ‘spokes’ which will include other services including:
- Young people’s centres
- Healthy family teams
- Integrated children’s disability service
- The family service
- District councils
- Online resources and virtual support groups