Early help family hubs
What are early help family hubs?
These hubs are facilities for co-ordinating early help services, providing children, young people and their families with help and support in times of need. They bring together family support services, including early childhood services, targeted youth and parenting support, health and voluntary sector partners and our local schools.
They work across community clusters and with other local partners and the community to offer services for children and young people aged 0-19, or up to 25 years of age for young people with special educational needs and disabilities, and their families.
Together with the family and the community, people working in a family hub will assist in finding help from different services and provide information, advice and support.
There will be a range of services available which are co-ordinated via the hub. Some will be available only to those who have the greatest needs, but there will also be services available to any family, child or young person who need them (for example parenting groups, sessions to support young people’s mental health and employment advice).
For families that need it, the hubs also provide targeted help and support to work through issues that may arise during a child or young person’s life, co-ordinated by one lead professional - the early help family support worker.
Hubs also provide a base for early help teams, but workers will visit families in their homes or in local community venues that are agreed by and convenient for the family.
In summary the hubs:
- Provide support for families with children and young people aged 0-19 or up to 25 years of age for young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities
- Work with families as part of a team and deliver specialist interventions when needed in the family’s home or in a local accessible venue agreed by the family
- Link with local education, early years and childcare providers, health and voluntary sector partners and community groups
- Provide information and advice services for parents and prospective parents
- Provide an environment for services to work together and not in isolation
- Offer and coordinate support for cases ‘stepping down’ from children’s social care
How will support be accessed by families?
Families are able to access a directory of local family services and provision.
Families can also talk to someone they know, such as their children’s nursery, school, school nurse or health visitor. This person, who already knows the family, can then co-ordinate support for the family. They will also have a direct link into the family hub, and with the family’s consent may submit a referral to the hub to access more targeted support. This will be planned and agreed with the family.
Once assessed, a family might receive targeted family support in their home, might be supported to access a group or a clinic provided at their local hub or local community venue, or may receive a combination of appropriate support co-ordinated by their allocated support worker.
Hubs can be contacted for consultation and guidance via Shropshire Council’s First Point of Contact on 0345 6789021, who will gather and forward information to an appropriate worker who will make contact.
The six family hubs in Shropshire are located as follows...
The Centre, Oak Street, SY11 1LW
Raven House, TF9 3AH
Sunflower House, Kendal Road, SY1 4ES
c/o Crowmoor School, Crowmere Road, SY2 5JJ
Ludlow – (across two sites)
Rock Spring, Sandford Road, Ludlow SY8 1SX
Learning and Skills, Old Street, SY8 1NW
Youth Centre, Innage Lane, WV16 4Hs
A need for a seventh hub has been identified in Whitchurch. However there is no suitable building available at this time, so this area will be serviced via the Market Drayton hub in the interim.
The flow of work
Referrals coming into the hubs, including cases ‘stepping down’ from children’s social care, will be received by the local early help team manager, and will be recorded on Shropshire Council’s early help case recording system (currently ECINs, but will be moving to Liquid Logic to align with both children’s and adults’ social care, providing greater opportunities to share information).
All referrals will be discussed at an Early Help Partnership Allocation Panel in the local hub, ensuring that work is allocated to the right worker with the right skills and knowledge. Any appropriate local services will also be considered in supporting the ongoing work with the family. This will encourage and enable families, as cases are stepped out of targeted early help, to continue to access support from wider universal provision available in the local community.
The early help manager will ensure that the ‘step down’ from the children’s social care pathway is applied, ensuring that the family’s needs and ongoing support are clear, and a handover period is in place to ensure against drift and delay.