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Government publishes programme guidance for Family Hubs and Start for Life Vision

8th August 2022

Today, the Government has published the programme guide for the 75 local authority areas that are eligible to receive a share of the £301.75 million funding package for the Family Hubs and Start for Life programme for the period 2022–2025. The guidance sets out the programme’s vision, objectives and key deliverables. It will be of interest to health visitors in England as well as those responsible for commissioning and delivering services. The guide also contains a range of links to evidence sources which will be of interest to those working in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The programme includes details of how the investment in ‘Start for Life’ announced last autumn will be spent.

Eligible local authorities are being encouraged to ‘be ambitious and present plans which take you further towards the vision of a seamless, integrated offer of support for all families delivered through a family hub model, with tailored support available for those who need it most. This is an exciting opportunity to improve the lives of babies, children and families’.

Alison Morton, iHV Executive Director says:

“This investment in the earliest years of life in 75 selected local authorities is welcomed, and the iHV will be looking to support areas as they design their services, built on the best evidence of ‘what works’.

“We urge the Government to be equally ‘ambitious’ in its next steps and extend this programme of support to all local authorities in England as a national priority.

“The success of this programme will also rest on having sufficient workforce with the right skills to develop and deliver the Start for Life Vision. This will require a demand-driven workforce plan – and, the evidence is clear that we need more health visitors!”

The Government has stated that, ‘this is an exciting opportunity to improve the lives of babies, children and families… [by] working together with delivery partners and families to ensure parents and carers in your area receive the support they need to care for their babies and children’.

The evidence and best practice gathered from this programme will inform the case for future investment and support transformation in the delivery of both family and Start for Life services across the whole of England.


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