The LGA commissioned Coram to develop a series of six case studies exploring various elements of family hubs delivery within councils in England.
Family Hubs are for families with babies, children and young people from birth until they reach the age of 19 (or up to 25 for young people with special educational needs and disabilities). They bring together multiple organisations in a ‘one stop shop’ with the aim of making it easier for families to access help and support.
Coram’s case studies on councils’ implementation of family hubs found that overall, there is a high degree of energy and enthusiasm about family hubs from council officers. The challenge for most councils is sustaining this momentum, and ensuring these services continue to be provided for families going forward. It is important to continue to research and assess the impact of family hubs, establishing an evidence base of best practice going forward.
- All councils are providing family hubs services for families with children aged between 0-19, and up to 25 for young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
- Most family hubs buildings are being converted from children’s centres, though councils will generally continue to offer children’s centres as part of their family hub network.
- Beyond the physical buildings, the family hubs agenda has provided councils with an opportunity to rethink how they design and deliver services to best meet families’ needs.
- The importance of strong partnerships was highlighted by all councils, whether with organisations who are helping to deliver the services, or with public bodies such as schools and GPs who can help signpost children and families to family hubs.
- Most councils underwent significant planning periods before setting up any family hubs.