Community-based Family Hubs have the potential to empower families across the country to help themselves, by offering them a transformative set of options, says a leading family charity.
In an article for Family Law, National Family Mediation CEO Jane Robey explains the background to ‘Family Hubs’, an idea currently being trialled in parts of the country, which would offer a number of community-based family-focused services.
But she argues that Family Hubs need to be shaped with fresh thinking, avoiding simply being a repeat of Sure Start Children’s Centres. 
“The Children’s Centre offer is limited to health and development, and services tend to be focused on families at risk,” she says. “To provide more universal appeal Family Hubs need to become a community resource that is not in any way stigmatised, with the service net cast further and wider than by Children’s Centres. They need a template offering with expert emotional, practical, financial, and legal information and services available.
“Strengthening families has to be about helping families to help themselves. If designed wisely Family Hubs have the potential to ‘hand up’ to families across the country a truly transformative set of options.”

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