Children’s Commissioner
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Reflections on the third Family Review roundtable with the Westminster Family Hubs team

Family life, and what can be done to support families, is a key priority for the Children’s Commissioner, who was delighted to be commissioned by the Minister for Equalities to undertake an Independent Review of contemporary family life.

The Family Review will seek to understand children and families’ perspectives on modern family life, and will explore the interaction between family life and children’s aspirations and outcomes. Through the Family Review, the Children’s Commissioner’s Office will investigate how we can improve children’s outcomes by developing the way public services understand the needs of families as a unit. This Review will also work to identify what is already done successfully in support for families, and what can be improved in current provision.

Yesterday, the Office hosted the third roundtable for the Family Review. This roundtable was an important opportunity to discuss family hubs with staff from Local Authorities across London.

During the roundtable, we discussed the importance of locally-driven services and priorities for families, of destigmatising families accessing support, and of enabling family support workers to develop positive, trusting relationships with families. Discussion also centred upon what an ideal family hub might look like, and how barriers to families accessing support services can be dismantled. Ideas ranged from taking advantage of existing community spaces to support families – from libraries, to churches – to ensuring support services are designed with longevity in mind, and have the capacity to be flexible in order to respond to the needs of a range of families.

We are very grateful for the wonderful insights and ideas that were provided in yesterday’s roundtable.  Over the coming months, we will continue conversations with a range of stakeholders who work to support children and families, ahead of publishing the Family Review in the autumn.

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