Family centres

Coronavirus and family centres

Family support workers, sometimes called outreach workers, continue to offer support to those who need it either face to face, by phone, email and video calling. Some of our buildings are closed but those that remain open have COVID-safe measures in place.

What is a family centre?

Family centres support families to find solutions to the parenting and relationships challenges they face and to grow in confidence to manage future difficulties. The aim of the family centres is to help families build their own resilience and self-reliance.

Family centres are based as near as possible to our most disadvantaged communities, but families needing help anywhere across Surrey will be able to benefit from their services.

What support is available at my local family centre?

All centres offer parenting programmes and group activities about common issues, for example, strategies to help with family routines or keeping your children safe.

The type of services available at family centres include:

  • parenting courses, workshops and signposting to online parenting resources
  • support for parents to have healthy relationships
  • family learning sessions to help support children's learning at home
  • advice and support on mental health and wellbeing
  • advice and information about helping families eat better and move more
  • signposting to services that can help with financial advice
  • help for families to find clothes, equipment, books and toys for their children
  • Healthy Start vitamin collection points for families who have vouchers
  • support for families to access food vouchers, food parcels and hygiene packs.

Individual family centre websites have a list of the services they offer and how to access them.

These services are for families who need a little extra help and have met the criteria for support at level 2. The criteria are set out in the Effective Family Resilience levels of need document.

To access these services, both families and professionals can go direct to the family centre. You can find contact details for your local centre on our family centre locations page.

One-to-one family support

The family centres provide one-to-one family support where the family situation is having a significant impact on the health, development or wellbeing of the child/children. Families and practitioners working with families, for example, GPs, health visitors, schools, early years settings, can request support for families who need some extra help.

Family support workers will offer support in the family home as well as at local community venues or the centre itself. Support will take place where the needs of the family are best met at that time.

Family Centres will not be operating on their own, they will work closely with other services that support families. For example, health, schools, early years settings, local charities and other local services to make sure that families get the support they need.

You can find out more about how help is offered, in our One-minute guide to family centres (targeted help at level 3) guide.

What can I expect if I get one-to-one family support?

Meeting your family support worker

A family support worker will meet you in your home or another place that works for you. They will listen and hear how you would like things to change from the way they are now.

They will help you to identify your strengths and help you to think about how you might build on these to make your family stronger and your life better. They will listen to your concerns and worries and help you think about when they started and how they might be overcome in the future.

This information will inform an Early Help Assessment to find out what support you need.

Meeting your team around the family

If the support you need requires a number of services to work together, your family support worker may set up a meeting between you and staff from other services.

You may have been working with some of these services in the past, and new ones may also be invited. These people will form a team around the family (TAF) providing different expertise and resources, so we can work together to meet your goals.

Working with you, the people in the TAF will choose someone who can be a champion for your child and be the point of contact for you. This person is called a child's champion.

Regular meetings

You can work with your family support worker to agree the frequency of meetings and the amount of time you will put aside to meet. Your worker will help you set goals for you and your family and create an action plan to help you along the way.

What commitment will the team give me and my family?

Our commitment is to work with your whole family, actively involving you all in the decisions that will affect your life.

What's expected from me and my family?

We need to understand what's important for you and your family, we would like you to agree to make a family action plan. It will set out where you are now, what you are aiming for and the support you will be offered to help you and your family.

How do I get one to one family support?

You can ask for help through the Surrey Children's Single Point of Access (C-SPA). Or ask a professional working with your family to complete a request for support form. They may complete an Early Help Assessment to attach to the request.

The C-SPA will review the request and allocate your family to the most appropriate service. For a professional to request support from another service, you should have agreed that you would welcome the extra help and given consent to share your information.

Professionals can refer to the Effective Family Resilience level of need document to find out if a family would meet the criteria for one-to-one support from a family centre.

Following a request for support, the family centre will be in touch directly when it has been confirmed that you and your family would welcome the extra support.

How do I find out about local services in my area?

The Family Information Service provides a directory of services and activities for families with children 0 to 19 years (up to 25 for those with special educational needs or disabilities).


In this section