Our proposals for a new way of helping local families

Exciting plans have been revealed for a new way of supporting families across Kirklees.

Building on services that are already successful, they would bring together the work of many organisations so that families have even better access to support when and where they need it.

‘Early Support’ is designed to help families at the earliest opportunity so that their needs don’t become more serious further down the line.

The proposals are based on creating Family Hubs which would deliver a wide range of help, support and advice for an age range of pre-birth through to 19 years (or up to 25 years for people with special educational needs and/or disabilities), along with support for parents.

Before finalising the proposals, the council asked the views of hundreds of people – especially those who might use the support within communities – so that local needs were reflected.

Cabinet members will discuss the plans at their meeting on April 13th. If approval is given, the Family Hubs proposal will move towards implementation.

Mel Meggs, Strategic Director for Children’s Services, said:

“It’s vital that partner organisations – such as health, social care, education and community groups – work together in improving long-term outcomes for children, young people and families.

Our approach would bring everyone together with a shared aim of giving local people the right support at the right time, and in the places where it can have the best impact.

The main focus would be to identify families and young people who need support at an early stage, making sure their needs were met as quickly as possible so that later problems can be avoided.

Kirklees would have a network of ‘go to places’ to deliver this support. We would be building on our existing strengths to make a lasting difference in local communities.

We have had many conversations with local people to make sure their views are taken into account. This has included parents, young people, staff and community organisations.

Their feedback was valuable and showed there is a lot of support for developing more local services in local areas, using a range of settings that are best suited to local needs.”

Services at each Family Hub could include midwifery, health visiting, school nursing, family support, parenting, early years, youth work and play, voluntary and community services, schools and community hubs, mental health and wellbeing, housing, benefits advice and support into employment.

Exact plans would be shaped by the people who access support, with the council ensuring children, young people and families had their say in what was on offer.

More information

Further information can be found in the Cabinet report.