The Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service have been asked to showcase their innovative family hubs to senior politicians and decision-makers at a special event in Parliament.
The service – run as a partnership between Virgin Care and Barnardo’s and commissioned by Essex County Council and NHS West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group – was invited to share details of its exciting model and plans at a one off Family Hubs Taster Event.
Senior leaders from Essex County Council’s commissioning team and Virgin Care managers from the hubs gave presentations to MPs and policy makers, sharing their model of care for children, young people and their families.
The family hub model – at various locations across the county – brings together family support services including Surestart children’s services, school nursing, health visiting, integrated family services and youth provision.
Other speakers at the Wednesday, 5 June event included: Robert Halfon MP for Harlow, Will Quince, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Family Support and MP for Colchester, Iain Duncan Smith, MP for Chingford and Woodford Green and Vicky Ford, MP for Chelsford.
All spoke passionately about the role of Family Hubs as a way to meet local need and encouraged local authorities to use this approach to build stronger relationships.
Robert Halfon MP also took to Twitter to praise the hubs, stating:
Lisa Farrell, Interim Quadrant Manager for West Essex, said: “We were delighted and very grateful to be asked to present at the Family Hubs event at Parliament. It was fantastic to be acknowledged by MP’s, policy makers and other local authorities for the work we are doing in Essex in transforming lives for Children, young people and families.
“Family Hubs are essential to early intervention and ensuring a whole system approach to Family Support, this event truly demonstrated this nationally and we hope it will influence future policies in government.”
Zoe Oddy, Quadrant Manager for Mid Essex, added: “The event was a fantastic opportunity to learn, share and hopefully influence key policy makers. I left filled with pride and inspiration. Early interventions and the services we deliver from our Family Hubs in Essex are key in providing essential support for children from 0-19 years and their families.”
Carolyn Terry, the Early Years Commissioner from Essex County Council, said that in commissioning the Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service the authority sought innovation that provided the opportunity to deliver a holistic and integrated approach for children and their families.
She added: “We are confident that if we get this part of the system right, through the Essex Family Hubs and integrated teams we have the potential to make lifelong changes – including helping children to be ready to start school and to prevent long term conditions such as obesity, poor mental health and social isolation”
There are family hubs across the county with locations and details listed at
School children can access help and advice through our confidential text service during the summer holidays
Our school nurses are on hand to give young people help and advice on a range of issues via our confidential Chathealth texting service.
A virtual teaching session to help young people cope with the pressures of coronavirus is being piloted in two schools in Wiltshire.