The launch of a programme that will offer increased support to families will be discussed by councillors in County Durham next week.
Earlier this year, Durham County Council was named as one of 75 authorities that could apply for funding from the government’s Family Hubs and Start for Life programme, which aims to improve outcomes for babies, children, young people, parents and carers.
Cabinet will hear how the authority is expected to receive £4.4 million in funding for the three-year programme, which will provide whole-family support services from pregnancy,
through a child’s early years until they reach the age of 19.
This will include mental health support, more support for parents and help with
breastfeeding, as well as the development of the council’s network of family centres into
family hubs, to offer families with children of all ages improved access to support services.
The council will also work closely with parents across the county to develop support to
meet their needs.
Cllr Ted Henderson, Cabinet member for children and young people’s services, said: “We
know that a child’s experiences from conception to age five play a critical role in their
development, with a child’s home environment and family relationships central to their
success in life.
“We have a vital role to play in supporting families and ensuring that we reduce gaps in
outcomes between disadvantaged or vulnerable children and their peers. This programme
will help us to further build on our current offer of support to help as many children, young
people, parents and carers as possible.”
It is hoped that an improved single point of contact for family services, including mental
health, maternity, housing, support for children with Special Education Needs and
Disabilities (SEND) and debt advice, will offer a whole family approach and ensure families
are offered support at the first time of asking.
Cabinet will meet at 9am on Wednesday, 14 December.