Family hubs are one-stop-shops where families can access important services, including parenting programmes, support with perinatal mental health and parent-infant relationships. Wider outreach and deeper engagement with communities is a key aspect of the hub and spoke model that the Department for Education are pursuing in the roll-out of Family Hubs to 75 Local Authorities during 2022 and 2023. Churches’ strong community links, ability to reduce stigma and reach out to families in need will play a key role in the effective rollout of these hubs and provides an excellent opportunity for ChurchWorks to proactively partner with the Department for Education, the National Centre for Family Hubs and Local Authorities to involve churches in new local structures to support the most vulnerable families.
That’s why the Churchworks Commission is supporting churches and Christian agencies to work with the National Centre for Family Hubs to co-design how Local Authorities can best engage faith groups in the set-up of their Family Hub.
First Commission Meeting
During the Commission’s first ever meeting, Commissioners identified supporting vulnerable families as one of the key areas to work on.
In our Commission meeting on the 30th of March, we were informed by Dame Andrea Leadsom MP about the intention that faith groups are and integral part od the delivery of Family Hubs.
Family Hubs Funding Announcement
In April 2022, 75 local authorities were named by the Department for Education and Department of Health and Social Care as eligible for a share of £302 million to set up the Government’s flagship Family Hubs and enhance start for life services as part of the government’s levelling up drive. Family hubs are one-stop-shops where families can access important services, including parenting programmes, support with perinatal mental health and parent-infant relationships.
At our Commission meeting we brought representatives from the Department for Education and National Centre for Family Hubs together with Commissioners and leading Christian family support charities to discuss and agree to work together on engaging churches and denominations in the roll-out of Family Hubs.
22nd September 2022
Family Hubs Webinar
We ran a webinar on September 22nd in collaboration with the Gather Movement and the National Centre for Family Hubs to inform and inspire over 120 church leaders to engage with their local Family Hub Team. You can watch the webinar here.
Work so far
1. Continuing to work with the National Centre for Family Hubs. We have worked with NCFH to gather a key group of faith leaders together regularly to co-design faith groups’ engagement with Family Hubs. This session is open to all faith leaders; contact us to sign up.
2. Identifying 'warm' Local Authorities to work with. The National Centre for Family Hubs has invited any local authorities who are interested in working with faith groups to get in touch with us.
3. Informing and inspiring individual churches to engage with their local Family Hub. We ran a webinar on September 22nd in collaboration with the Gather Movement and the National Centre for Family Hubs to inform and inspire over 120 church leaders to engage with their local Family Hub team. Watch the webinar here for more information and to find out how to access further resources.
4. Working with existing Christian family support agencies to identify possible pilot locations. We have facilitated discussion among ChurchWorks members to articulate that an effective Family Hubs pilot might involve. Three key areas for partnership have been articulated:
- Churches and faith groups as Connected Partners of Family Hubs provision in terms of signposting and referral
- Church as Co-hosts of Family Hubs provision through the use of their buildings
- Churches as Commissioned Partners of Family Hubs either through running specific services for the Hubor to use their premises as the 'spoke' of the 'hub'.