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Providing further support to families in County Durham

Published December 06, 2022 3.20pm

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, we were 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.

Funding received

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.

We will also work closely with parents across the county to develop support to meet their needs.

Building on our current support 

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. For more information, visit Cabinet agenda and minutes - 14 December 2022.


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