PROPOSALS to implement a new approach to family support in Stockton-on-Tees will be considered by councillors this week.
The proposals, centred on bringing services together at four ‘Family Hubs’, will be considered by Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council’s Cabinet on Wednesday (June 21).
The hubs would be based at the Footsteps, Redhill, Sunrise and High Flyers Children’s Centres based in Billingham, Stockton, Roseworth, and Thornaby respectively.
Open six days a week, they would also offer a broader range of services, from health visiting and midwifery clinics to healthy weight and parenting support, and would be supported by a community outreach model.
Councillor Ann McCoy, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “We want our children and young people get the best possible start in life and the aim of this new approach is to make sure that families can access support when they need it and where they need it, particularly those families that need the most help.
“We need to change how we deliver both early years and family services and strike a much better balance between building-based services, which rely on families to come to us, and proactive outreach work that enables us to get out and deliver support to families in, or closer to their homes.
“These proposals are designed to deliver that change. They would also build on the success of the ‘Fairer Start’ pilot, which has brought together a range of early years services to support children in the Stockton Town Centre ward to be ‘school ready’ by the age of five, by effectively rolling out the pilot across the Borough.
“The proposals have been put together following a nine-week public consultation with parents and carers. The consultation ran from September to November last year, during which time we held 23 public consultation sessions and received 265 responses. I’d like to thank everybody who took the time to share their views.”
If agreed, the Council will press ahead with tendering for the 0 to 19, healthy weight, and family outreach services needed to deliver the new approach, with a view to it being in place from next April next year.