Families First is an innovative project led by Hackney CVS, in partnership with the London borough of Hackney, Claudia Jones Organisation, African Community School, Inspire! and Daymer. Families First brings the voluntary sector together with 20 Hackney schools to provide more joined-up and earlier support to families with multiple and complex problems.
'Families First Programme is all about helping families in difficult and often complex circumstances'
The project will support 210 families over three years through ‘Families First - working together for Hackney Children’ project. It will work mainly, but not exclusively, with African Caribbean, Turkish and Kurdish families who have been identified as having complex and challenging needs which do not yet require statutory intervention.
The project will support children making the move from primary to secondary school; and offer intensive family support and coaching to restore parent, child and school relationships.
Jake Ferguson, CEO at Hackney CVS, said: “The Hackney Families First Programme is all about helping families in difficult and often complex circumstances avoid costly and frustrating attempts to get the right help from local public services. By focusing on 210 mainly black and ethnic minority families who live with multiple needs, this programme will provide a range of preventative initiatives such as mentoring children to get ready for secondary school transition, helping parents find the skills to cope better with challenging situations such as when a family member is defined with a mental health illness, brokering relationships with schools when children find themselves behind their peers and helping families to have better communication and relationships.
“Hackney CVS is delighted to have this opportunity to demonstrate the expertise of the voluntary and community sector in this area and to work in partnership with four key frontline VCS organisations and the local authority to tackle some of the biggest child and family wellbeing challenges in the borough”.
Alison Rowe, Big Lottery Fund’s Head of the London region, said: “Hackney CVS and its partners are focused firmly on improving the wellbeing and life chances of young children by supporting their families.
“Too many families in difficult circumstances still don’t know who to turn to for help, with well-meaning agencies often acting in an uncoordinated way that doesn’t help resolve the problems families are facing. By mobilising all those who can help at a local level – not just big charities, also small ones, volunteers, peers and schools amongst others – in a coordinated way, Hackney CVS aims to pilot and explore the new ways of improving the lives of some of the most vulnerable children.”
The Improving Futures programme will distribute up to £26 million in total and will see some of the largest charities working together with some of the smallest community organisations and local public services to trial a range of family interventions.
Families First School and Public Sector referal form. Click here to download