Children’s centres should be replaced by ‘family hubs’ the Children’s Commissioner for England has proposed.
Council-funded children’s centres provide a venue for the parents of children aged four and under to access advice and support, enjoy play sessions with the kids and meet other families. Their future is in doubt, however, with a delayed government review due to begin shortly.
Rather than focusing entirely on children’s welfare, so-called family hubs would provide a conduit for social services aimed at entire families, the Children’s Commissioner explains.
In a new report, she suggests:
“The government has yet to make an announcement on the future direction of children’s centres, which, if developed along the right lines, have the potential to champion a new approach to supporting children in need with a strengthened focus on the whole family.”
According to the report, hubs could help to help to funnel valuable assistance towards families who have difficulties but whose situation may not yet have deteriorated to the point where intervention by social workers is required.
“Family hubs would co-ordinate statutory and voluntary approaches to tackling the root causes of intergenerational poverty, family breakdown, and poor outcomes for children. They have social mobility and family stability at their core.”
Read the report here.