The City of Wolverhampton Council has pioneered the use of Strengthening Families Hubs over the last few years, with a network of 8 hubs providing multi agency support to young families.
Now, the council and its partners have been selected to join the national Family Hub and Start for Life programme, enabling it to expand the work of the hubs and help even more people.
If successful, Wolverhampton will receive around £3 million over the next 3 years from the Department of Health and Social Care and the Department for Education to develop a network of Family Hubs, using the existing Strengthening Families Hubs, which will further improve access to universal and early help services, including Start for Life services.
The programme aims to join up and enhance services currently delivered through the Strengthening Family Hubs, including parenting programmes, infant feeding, and infant and parent mental health support, and ensure that all parents and carers are able to access the help they need.
Councillor Beverley Momenabadi, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: "All families need support from time to time to help their babies and children thrive, whether that’s from friends, family, volunteers or practitioners.
"Our ambition is for every family to receive the support they need, when they need it. All families should have access to the information and tools they need to care for and interact positively with their babies and children, and to look after their own wellbeing, too.
"Our Strengthening Families Hubs have been a great success and have helped many families since they were introduced, by putting care and support in the heart of our communities.
"We are now taking that a step further. But, rather than creating new services, the Family Hubs and Start for Life programme will enable us to deliver services differently, implementing new ways of working, developing the skills of the workforce, enhancing integrated, multi agency arrangements and making better use of buildings.
"And by providing a stronger, more accessible universal and early help offer in our communities, there will be long term benefits in terms of reduced demand for more intensive support services further down the line."
She added: “We are very proud of our work to put families at the heart of all we do, and this is a great chance for the council and its partners to go even further for our children and families."