A picture of cllr seaman at the launch event

Coventry City Council and partners across the city have joined forces to launch the new Early Help Strategy.

The new Early Help Strategy, and its associated programmes will change the way children, young people and families are cared for and supported.

The Coventry Early Help Strategy 2023-25, and the Family Hub and Start for Life programme are the latest steps in the Council’s aim to put families right at the heart of its work and to give children, parents and carers a voice.

The double launch event was held at St Mary’s Guildhall on Thursday with over 60 professionals from across the Early Help Partnership.

These two initiatives will make sure support is available when, where and how families need it and will bring a number of agencies together to offer care and support in local communities across Coventry.

The Early Help Strategy sets out how the Council will work to create a city where children feel valued, safe, healthy and have opportunities.

It will support all families, but will also work to offer extra support to those most in need, including those not in education, children with experience of abuse and domestic abuse, who have physical or mental health needs and who are living in poverty.

Through the Strategy, the Council commits to a range of action, including listening to families and acting on what they say, to build resilience in communities, and make better use of data to plan, deliver and evaluate the impact of services.

The Family Hub and Start for Life Programme will develop the work of the city’s eight hubs, and change the way families, children and young people are supported.

The eight hubs have been granted £4m over three years to improve and connect services, make them easily accessible, and build health and relationships within families. The programme is putting care and support right in the heart of communities.

It will develop the work of the Start for Life campaign which is delivering a range of services to help babies, children and parents in those crucial first 1,001 days and let families know there are people there to offer support and care in those times.

It will also develop new programmes, that will support mental health, infant feeding, parenting skills, and develop Parent Carer Panels to make sure residents can have a say and will be heard.

Cllr Patricia Seaman, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “Our recent good Ofsted inspection shows that we have much to be proud of in Coventry and we have made excellent progress in delivering a strong Early Help Offer, but there is still work to be done to achieve our goals.

“This Early Help Strategy, and the programmes that bring it to life will enable us to help more families earlier, through providing the right help at the right time, and giving them a voice in how those services work.

“Our Family Hubs have already been a great success, and together with the Early Learning Strategy and Start for Life, are putting care and support right in the heart of our communities and bringing services together.

“Now it is time to take the next step and make even more dramatic changes to the lives of families, children and young people in the city in those crucial early days of family life.

“I want to thank our partners, our staff , families, and young people who have helped in this work – together we can make Coventry the best city in the UK for all our children, young people, and their families.”

To see more about the Early Help Strategy, visit www.coventry.gov.uk/earlyhelpstrategy 

To learn more about the Family Hubs, visit www.coventry.gov.uk/familyhubs and to see details about Start for Life, visit www.coventry.gov.uk/start-life

Published: Wednesday, 20th September 2023