Between April 2016 and March 2018 MVDA undertook a piece of work to explore the opportunities for the voluntary and community sector (VCS) to support the development of Middlesbrough’s multi-agency Early Help Hub.
Middlesbrough’s Early Help Hub (EHH) was responsible for tracking and supporting early help support offered to families from a range of agencies to ensure the best outcomes for Middlesbrough’s children and young people. The EHH would review and triage those cases, referred by agencies and the public, into safeguarding where the safeguarding threshold was not met. In addition, the EHH offered information, advice and guidance to any agency identifying concerns around children and young people. Since undertaking this piece of work, what was the EHH is now known as the Family Partnerships Team and is undergoing a number of ongoing changes.
What we agreed we would do:
- Increase access to local VCOs
- Develop VCS pathways
- Better understand the needs of children and families and how these are currently being met
- Support VCOs with capacity building
- Identify opportunities for collaboration and innovative solutions to increase support for children and families
What we did:
- Provided development support to VCOs
- Facilitated opportunities for collaboration
- Promoted and delivered training and development opportunities
- Identified additional resources and funding
- Contributed to strategic engagement and planning
- Explored innovative approaches
- Supported the EHH to understand the contribution of the VCS
Click here to read the full report
A VCS-led response
Following the work undertaken with the EHH, MVDA is facilitating a range of ongoing conversations with key VCOs working most directly with children and families in Middlesbrough. These conversations, based on the perspective of VCOs and their work with children and families has focused upon:
- what life is like for Middlesbrough’s children and families
- what future we want for Middlesbrough children and families
- what we can do collectively, as the VCS, to close the gap between current and improved experiences
These conversations have resulted in a VCS-led project group coming together with a desire to work towards a stronger VCS offer of early help, preventative support for Middlesbrough’s children and families. If you would like to contribute to this work or simply find out more, please contact Tracey Brittain, Senior Strategic Development Officer.