Hubs plan to transform early help for south Norfolk families
16:41 17 June 2014
New delivery hubs are set to be created across south Norfolk to improve the health and wellbeing of older residents and families.
South Norfolk Council is looking to change its approach towards early help support for families by developing a multi-agency approach to focus services much better.
A report for councillors by the council’s communities manager Mike Pursehouse suggested creating delivery hubs across south Norfolk, starting in Diss, where agencies can work together to provide a “one door” approach to families to enable them to access services more quickly.
The report said that in south Norfolk there was a growing older population needing more resources from the council, while there were pockets of deprivation where families became stuck in a cycle of need, were dependent on benefits, had poor health and children grew up without reaching their potential.
In south Norfolk, there are 93 children being looked after by the state at a cost of £4m a year to the taxpayer.
The aim is that rather than having to talk to multiple agencies, families will only have to seek help once.
A collaboration hub will also be created in the council’s old reprographics room where council officers and partners from other agencies can speak to each other and deliver faster, more coordinated services to families.
Council leader John Fuller welcomed the initiative at a cabinet meeting on Monday, adding that the plans would enable services previously based in Norwich to be more focused locally.
He described the proposals as “very exciting”, adding: “I have got a feeling that every council in England will be beating a path to our door if this works.”
The council’s chief executive Sandra Dinneen said the council was looking at new ways of delivering the support to families to try to prevent them becoming dependent on public services.
A range of partners will be working with the council to provide the service, including the police, Job Centre Plus, housing associations, several voluntary sector organisations, health services and Clinical Commissioning Groups.
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