Children Minister visits Treehouse Hub in Harlow

LAST week, the Children and Families Minister Nadhim Zahawi visited the Treehouse Family Hub in Harlow to meet those working as part of the Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service.

Mr Zahawi was joined by Robert Halfon MP for Harlow, plus Essex County Councillor Dick Madden, Cabinet Member for Children and Families to see the services the Hub provides to help children and families achieve the best start in life.

During the visit the Minster met with staff from Barnardo’s and Virgin Care and learnt about the activities and initiatives that the Hub runs.

Mr Zahawi said of his visit: “I’m here to really understand how this concept of a family hub is working in Harlow. I’m very pleased to be here to see for myself the work that’s being done and see whether we can take the learnings from here to spread them to other parts of the country.”

Robert Halfon, MP said: “I was very pleased to welcome the Minister to Harlow today to see the Tree House Family Hub with its dedicated and committed staff. I thank Virgin Care, Barnardo’s and Essex County Council for all the work that they are doing. They are ground-breaking with their family hub – integrating every possible support; a one-stop shop for parents and children to make sure children in Harlow have the best possible chance at climbing the ladder of opportunity.”

Cllr Madden said: “We were delighted to be able to show the Minster the Family Hub. Bringing services together under one roof means we can support families better as everything is joined up and information is shared. We know our families welcome this new way of working and enjoy all that the Treehouse has to offer.”

Javed Khan, Chief Executive at Barnardo’s, said: “It was a pleasure to welcome the Minister today, so he could meet colleagues doing incredible work to support children and families. Barnardo’s is really proud of this innovative new service, and our close partnership with Essex County Council and Virgin Care. We believe there are lessons from Essex which could be applied across the country, so that every community has the integrated, 0-19, health and social care service that families, including the most vulnerable, really need. Our goal is always for children to receive the right support at the right time, so they have the best possible chance of a positive future.”

Following the tour of the Hub the Minster sat down with Cllr Madden and Helen Lincoln, Executive Director Children and Families, Essex County Council to discuss Essex County Council’s role in the Partners in Practice scheme and hear how Essex has been supporting other local authorities to develop and improve their children services by sharing best practice.

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