Supporting families

The Northern Trust believes that the vast majority of children have a better quality of life when they are cared for by their immediate family and supported by extended families and universal services within strong communities.

Underpinning this is a commitment to support families by identifying problems at an early stage and providing appropriate services in local communities to support and empower families.

We have introduced the family support hub model to support this ethos. This model was initiated by the HSC Board and is being rolled out regionally The concept of a family support hub is that of providing access to a range of local services form the statutory, voluntary and community perspective, to provide early , non-stigmatising support for families whose difficulties would not meet the threshold for statutory social work intervention .

There are five hubs in the Northern Trust area covering – Larne/Carrick, Newtownabbey, Ballymena/Antrim, Magherafelt/Cookstown, and Coleraine/Ballymoney/Moyle.

‘We recognise that in the Northern Trust each locality has unique aspects in respect of geography, demographics, socio-economic structure, community organisation, informal networks and service history which will influence aspects of the hub. However the key component to all hubs should be that children young people and families get the early help and support they need in a timely manner’ Marie Roulston, Children’s Services Director.

Family support hubs enhance awareness, accessibility, co-ordination and provision of family support resources, with an emphasis on prevention and early intervention.

The local coordination of family support hubs in the northern Trust area is commissioned form action for children by the Trust. Who are committed to the hub principals of prevention and early intervention?

Arrangement are in place to ensure that any referrals made to the hub that should more appropriately have come to statutory social services are referred to trust gateway service.

Page last updated:29 June 2015