Image credit: Sandy Millar on Unsplash
The 75 local authorities set to receive government funding for Family Hubs have been announced, six months after the Autumn Budget committed over £300m for wider family support services.
The local authorities will each receive a share of the £82m ringfenced for Family Hub development, though details are yet to be released on how that money will be distributed. It is intended to go hand in hand with the Department for Education’s Start for Life programme, which will fund services such as breastfeeding support, parenting programmes and parent-infant relationship support – all of which will be integrated into the Family Hub model.
In a separate document on the selection criteria, the DfE explained that funding was targeted at areas with the highest deprivation levels, as part of the levelling-up agenda, and that there had to be geographical representation too, from rural to urban.
Based on those criteria, we congratulate the following successful local authorities: Barking and Dagenham, Barnsley, Bedford Borough, Birmingham, Blackburn with Darwen, Blackpool, Bolton, Bradford, Brent, Bristol, Calderdale, Camden, Cornwall, Coventry, Croydon, Derby, Doncaster, Dudley, Durham, East Sussex, Enfield, Gateshead, Greenwich, Hackney, Halton, Haringey, Hartlepool, Hounslow, Isle of Wight, Islington, Kent, Kingston Upon Hull, Knowsley, Lambeth, Leicester, Lewisham, Lincolnshire, Liverpool, Luton, Manchester, Medway, Middlesbrough, Newcastle upon Tyne, Newham, Norfolk, North East Lincolnshire, North Lincolnshire, North Northamptonshire, Northumberland, Nottingham, Oldham, Peterborough, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Redcar and Cleveland, Rochdale, Rotherham, Salford, Sandwell, Sheffield, South Tyneside, Southampton, Southwark, St. Helens, Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland, Tameside, Telford and Wrekin, Thurrock, Torbay, Tower Hamlets, Wakefield, Walsall, Waltham Forest, and Wolverhampton.
Commenting on the announcement, Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said:
“Evidence shows that some of the most disadvantaged families don’t access vital services. Family Hubs offer localised early help and intervention, from early years support to parenting classes, all of which can make a transformative difference in the lives of parents and carers who may not have a support network.”
Although the government are regarding this as a trial phase of Family Hubs, Will Quince described the introduction of Hubs and the wider Start for Life offer as evidence of the government “putting relationships at the heart of family help”, the language increasingly suggests that Family Hubs are now part of the government’s long-term vision for supporting families.