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by | Thursday, January 6th, 2022 | News

An exciting new ten-year partnership to help Plymouth families receive early help and support in their communities has launched this month.

Livewell Southwest, in partnership with Action for Children, LARK Children’s Centre, Harbour Centre and Hamoaze House have formed a new Early Help Partnership which has been successful in bidding to run and bring together services like Children’s Centres and young carers support with Council services such as Targeted Support.

We will work with partners to make sure that key services are available in the community giving families the direct help they need, whether that’s a bit of advice or more intensive one to one support over a longer period of time. Early help services aim to help families to be able to manage and not need more intensive services such as support from social workers.

This is all part of a national programme for all areas to set up Family Hubs for families with children aged 0 to 19 and Plymouth has taken a major step to getting started with the launch of the new partnership.

Family Hubs will provide safe places for families to meet, socialise and get support, from before their children are born, through all the ages and stages of school life and into their late teens. The Hubs will help families to have fun but also be able to talk to experts about things that are worrying them about their child’s development.

Councillor Dave Downie, Cabinet member for Education, Skills, Children and Young People, said: “The move towards Family Hubs is something very different for the way we organise our services for children, young people and families in Plymouth.

“We want to look at all our early help resources and think together about how we can use it to have the best possible impact for children and their families. We hope that the partnership will aim to get to the heart of the issues that really matter to families, builds on their strengths, and try and design solutions to them, whether that’s a small project to try using a building differently in a local area, or something that covers the whole city.”

Livewell Southwest Acting Chief Executive, Michelle Thomas, said: “On behalf of all of the partners we are delighted to have the opportunity to show the people of Plymouth how focused we are on delivering the highest quality early help and family hubs.

“We put children, young people and families at the heart of everything we do and have committed to involving them in the design of our early help and family hub services.

“We recognise that our partnership is only a small part of the whole system required to support children, young people and families but effective early intervention can improve children’s wellbeing, educational attainment and life chances, reduce family poverty, improve mental health and lead to lower crime, unemployment and other negative outcomes for society. The power of early intervention is huge.”

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