Online family hub service launched in Cheshire East

Local council launches new family hubs digital offer, transforming its support services for children and young people up to the age of 19 (or 25 for those with special educational needs and disabilities). 

The idea behind so-called family ‘hubs’ is a simple one: bring together community, council and health services in one place so that families can access help and support when they need it. That includes the expertise and guidance of local community groups, NHS staff and others. 

two babies and woman sitting on sofa while holding baby and watching on tablet

Photo by Alexander Dummer

Over the past year, Cheshire East Council has opened five physical family hubs. It is also developing further provision through family hub ‘connect’ sites, offering further in-person support and advice. 

Now the council has launched a digital version of the family hub service. Advice and information are provided online in a quick, convenient manner. The online offer also makes these services available to those who do not have access to the in-person hubs nearby. 

The project is funded by £1m awarded by the Department for Education last year. 

The online family hubs site currently boasts six sections: 

  • Start for life journey (0-5) 
  • Primary journey (5-11) 
  • Young person’s journey (11-19) 
  • Supporting children and young adults with SEND (5-25) 
  • Information and advice for professionals 
  • What’s on in your local area 

In each section, there is a mix of practical advice, links to further resources and contact details for those who can offer further help. 

Whether online or in person, the family hubs service offers a wide array of assistance, ranging from pregnancy and support for new parents to issues such as mental health, disabilities and other additional needs, as well as finance and housing.   

Cllr Carol Bulman, Lead Member for Children and Families at Cheshire East Council, says: ‘We are delighted to not only have introduced a support system for children and families across Cheshire East in the form of our physical family hubs, but to now provide a comprehensive online resource which will broaden our expertise and guidance for those who may not be able to access a centre near where they live. 

‘This digital offer has a fantastic wealth of advice that will leave our families informed, assured, and guided by providing information on the development of children and young people, and we’re so pleased to be able to share it with our residents. Vitally, I’m pleased to see a dedicated focus on support for those with special educational needs now online, as well as through our family hubs across the borough, including at Monks Coppenhall family hub in Crewe, our SEND centre of excellence.’ 

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