DEVON County Council (DCC) has launched a consultation on its proposals for new family-hub centres across the county.

The proposals describe ten main Family Hub centres across the county, at least one in every district council area.

These would be bases from which families can access the wider range of support that Family Hubs offer, with meeting rooms, space for groups to use, and for staff to meet and train.

In addition to the main hubs, there would be wide number of outreach hub spaces in local communities, using buildings such as schools, libraries, community hospitals and community centres, for families to access services closer to home, in trusted spaces they already know.

Much of the work currently offered by Children’s Centres is done in families’ own homes or by using community venues nearby, so the proposed outreach Family Hub spaces is already a familiar model for many families.

The council has launched a consultation about how it would like to use it existing buildings, with proposals for each of the current Children’s Centre sites.

The move from Children’s Centres to Family Hubs is a national one, with the government announcing the transition in 2021.

Local councils across the country have since been making the transition, with Devon’s county councillors agreeing last year to the development of Family Hubs in Devon.

Family Hubs are different and broader in scope than previous Children’s Centres, supporting a wider age range of children and young people, and linking-in with the many existing local groups to offer a wider range of family support.

Councillor Andrew Leadbetter, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for children’s services, said: ‘I’m very excited about these proposals but it’s very early days.

‘There are some national drivers to help develop the Family Hubs model, and we’ve done a lot of engagement work with families, so we feel we know pretty well what families want.

‘We’ve opened up the access to a wider age range of children and young people, and we’re beginning to see how we can expand the range of support by linking in with existing community support groups.’