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KCC Media Release - Consultation opens on new Family Hub Services in Kent

By Gill Gray (Town Clerk/RFO) Westgate-on-Sea Town Council

Thursday, 20 July 2023

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Westgate-on-Sea Town Council Contributor

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Kent County Council (KCC) is seeking residents’ views on the design of new Family Hub Services in the county in an 8-week consultation launched today and closing on 13 September 2023.

Kent was identified as a Transformation Authority and selected by the government as a Trailblazer for the national Family Hubs and Start for Life Programme in October 2022. The programme will support the council to transform Children’s Centre services, Youth Services, Health Visiting, and work alongside Community-based midwifery care, bringing them together and making them easier to access.

This consultation marks the start of engagement opportunities which will allow the families and young people who use these services, and our partners, to have a say in how those services will work in the future.

Family Hub Services will offer support to children and families from conception through to age 19, or up to 25 for children with special education needs or disabilities.

The aim is to bring together different services so that families and young people can quickly and easily get the support they need. Professionals from different organisations will work together to provide these services, making them easier to access.

The needs of families and young people will be at the centre of how the council will develop the new Family Hub Services and so it is important that service users respond to this consultation with their views and experiences.

Sue Chandler, Cabinet Member for Integrated Children’s Services, said: “This is an exciting opportunity for KCC, Kent residents and council partners, to work together to join up and enhance services and improve the lives of children and families in Kent.

“Ensuring families can easily access all the support they need, from birth to adulthood, is essential for the wellbeing of Kent’s children.

“Inclusion is at the heart of our proposals. We are thinking carefully about how we can design our services together with our partners and service users, so that everyone can easily access the support they need including how those services are provided.

“This consultation is a vital part of that process, and I would like to actively encourage everyone to take part.”

This consultation also includes a proposal to stop funding the youth clubs and activities currently commissioned by KCC but run by non-KCC organisations. This is due to the financial pressures the council is facing. This means that some activities and clubs would stop unless the organisations are able to find alternative funding. We are keen to hear from service users how the proposed changes might affect them.

For full information and to tell us what you think about our proposals visit www.kent.gov.uk/familyhubservices

Alternatively, you can fill in a paper form available from children’s centres and youth hubs and return it to: Freepost FAMILY HUB SERVICES CONSULTATION.

Feedback is also welcome by email, letter, or phone if you don’t want to fill out the questionnaire.

There will be events across Kent throughout the summer to visit and find out more about the consultation and ask questions. Dates and locations at: www.kent.gov.uk/familyhubservices

Young people are also being engaged with to make sure their feedback is included.

When the consultation closes, feedback will be analysed and used to help make decisions about the changes.

The locations of the Family Hub sites will be announced in winter 2023, along with the dates when changes to services will happen. Check www.kent.gov.uk/familyhubservices for updates.

If you have any questions, please contact [email protected] or telephone us on 03000 419292. This number goes to an answering machine which is monitored during office hours.

If you need any of the information about the consultation in a different format, please email [email protected] or call 03000 421553 (text relay service number: 18001 03000 421553).

Contact Information

Chloe Wheatley (Interim Town Clerk)

  • 01843 836182
  • 01843 836182

Find Westgate-on-Sea Town Council

78 St Mildreds Road, Westgate-On-Sea, Kent, CT8 8RF

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Additional Information

The email address for the Town Clerk is [email protected]