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Children's Centres are becoming Family Centres

What is a Family Centre?

Family Centres will be located in communities where there are more families needing extra help to support their children to thrive. The 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.

Family support workers employed at the Family Centre will provide services in the family home as well as at local community venues or the centre itself, whichever best suits the needs of the family at that time. The mobile Family Centre will also be available to support families who are more isolated or where there are limited local facilities.

Family Centres will provide 1-to-1 family support for families where challenging family circumstances are having a significant impact on the health, development or wellbeing of the child/children living in the home. Professionals and practitioners working with families, for example GPs, health visitors, schools, early years settings and others, will request 1-to-1 family support for the family through the Early Help Hub. The family will be contacted by the Family Centre when parents have agreed that they would welcome the extra help.

Family Centres can also be accessed directly by families who need some extra support. The centres offer parenting programmes and group activities for some families. These groups are designed to support families to come together for support with common issues. Individual family centre websites have a list of the services they offer, who would benefit and how to access them.

What services will Family Centres provide?

Family Centres will work with families to help them keep their children safe and give them a good parenting experience. Family Centre staff will be trained to help families identify and 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 will not be operating on their own, they will work closely with other services that support families for example the Family Support Programme, Targeted Youth Support teams, schools, early years settings, local charities and other local services to make sure that families get the support they need.

The services provided aim to improve the following for children, young people and their families:

  • Heath and emotional development
  • Behavioural development
  • Family and social relationships
  • Self-care and independence
  • Learning and child development
  • Basic care, ensuring safety and protection
  • Housing, work and income
  • Family functioning and wellbeing

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What will happen if I am already getting extra help from the children centre?

The existing children's centres will not be providing universal services for example play and learn sessions from the dates given on the borough/district family centre pages. Health clinics may continue to run by appointment beyond these dates.

Families already receiving individual family support from their children centre will continue to do so. Your outreach/family worker will work with you to make sure this is not disrupted during the change to the Family Centre.

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).

When will the children's centres in my area become a Family Centre?

To find out more about Family Centres in your area and when the existing children's centres will close please select your local area from the drop down box at the top of this page.