A Coram evaluation of Family Hubs in six local authorities highlights the importance of strong local partnerships

  • 20 July 2023

The evaluation carried out by Coram’s Impact and Evaluation team and Coram Family and Childcare, funded by the Local Government Association, follows the government’s £301.75m investment in Family Hubs until 2025.

Children playing at nursery

A new Coram case study evaluation of Family Hubs in six local authorities across England, published today, has highlighted the importance of strong relationships, both with organisations that will deliver the services and public bodies such as GP surgeries and schools who can signpost children and families to Family Hubs. The Family Hubs agenda has provided an opportunity for local authorities to rethink how they design and deliver services to best meet families’ needs.

Family Hubs provide multiple services under one roof, designed to simplify access for families, and are available for all families with children between the ages of 0-19, or 0-25 for those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). Coram was commissioned by the Local Government Association (LGA) to undertake case studies of Family Hubs in six local authorities across England, following the announcement in Autumn 2021 of £301.75m of government investment in Family Hubs until 2025 which has resulted in the rapid transformation of Family Hubs across England. The evaluation covers councils from the North and South of England, as well as the Midlands. Three councils (Salford, Lincolnshire and Cornwall) received Family Hubs and Start for Life funding, one council (York) received Family Hubs Transformation Grant funding, and two councils received no additional funding (Essex and Stockton-on-Tees).

As well as the opportunity to offer joined up delivery, with co-location of services in hubs, such as midwifery, child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS), health visitors, maternity services and school nursing, the case study evaluation found that incorporating families in service design and decision-making was a priority for all of the councils interviewed.

Lucas Jones, research assistant at Coram’s Impact and Evaluation team, who led the Family Hub case studies for the LGA said: “Family Hubs are an exciting and rapidly evolving policy area. We heard from a number of local authorities who were developing their Family Hubs and taking active steps to include the voice of families which we think is critical to their ability to support the needs of families and ensure sustainability.”