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Children’s Commissioner’s proposals to help children by helping families

The Children's Commissioner for England has proposed new policies as a starting point for making support available when families need it, and ensuring that the support is good enough.

The proposals follow the largest ever survey of children in England. Half a million responded. The 'Big Answer', published this September, is the Children's Commissioner's first response to "this outpouring of children's voices".

The proposed policies are as follows.

"First, an expansion of the Family Hubs network would mean a welcoming and convenient access point for families to get help in every community. We want to see Family Hubs across the country being able to link families up with any support they might need, for themselves and for their children of any age. Universal services like Health Visiting, should be based in hubs so that they become familiar and friendly places to all families, from all backgrounds.

"Second, the Supporting Families programme helps bring positive change for families facing multiple disadvantages. Doubling funding for this programme would build on progress to date helping hundreds of thousands of families, delivering real results, such as getting parents into work, helping children stay in school and diverting children away from social care involvement.

"Thirdly, to provide support for families and children who are need. Free breakfast clubs and an extension of the Holiday Activities Fund, which provides food and activities to children during the school holidays are both measures that would tackle child hunger. Free school meal enrolment should become automated and free school meals should also be extended to families with no recourse to public funds, who are some of the most vulnerable families in this country."

To read more about the Children's Commissioner's proposals to support families, click here.