Decision details

Review by the Children, Families & Education Select Committee: The Stronger Families Hub - Our Engagement with Key Stakeholders / Exploring Participation and Feedback to Improve Service and Satisfaction

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: Yes




That Cabinet welcomes the Select Committee’s findings, it’s report and approves their recommendations which seek to enhance the Stronger Families Hub to residents:




1)    To continue to raise the profile of the Stronger Families Hub with all Hillingdon stakeholders, including schools (both in and out of the Borough), community organisations, third sector organisations and elected Members, with a view to improving resident awareness of the Hub and the support available to them;


2)    Seeks to maintain the resilience of the 24/7 Hub model by monitoring the staff and triage resourcing covering the out-of-hours service, in light of comments made by witnesses;


3)    Review the capacity within the Hub to support increased demand, in light of comments made by witnesses, in particular from unaccompanied asylum-seeking children arriving at Heathrow Airport;


4)    To note the Health and Social Care Select Committee’s review into the effectiveness of the CAMHS referral pathway, and to review ways to enhance signposting around mental health services via the Hub and to voluntary and private sector services;


5)    To continue to raise awareness of the Stronger Families Hub regularly with partners to keep abreast of changes or new developments. This is to include an annual renewal of the membership of the Stronger Families sub-group to ensure it reflects all stakeholders;


6)    Ensure the Stronger Families Hub is accessible to a diverse range of communities by investigating advertising and promoting the Stronger Families Hub in additional languages, where feasible; and


7)    Investigate adding into the referral form process to explain why consent had not been obtained, where appropriate.


Reasons for decision


The Chairman of the Children, Families and Education Select Committee, Councillor Makwana, introduced the Committee’s review on the Stronger Families Hub. In her presentation, Councillor Makwana highlighted that the Stronger Families Hub, launched in 2021, aimed to provide a 24/7 service to families and professionals in Hillingdon. The focus of the Committee's review was to assess how the Hub had been functioning in practice and identify areas for improvement. The Committee had engaged in numerous witness sessions with key stakeholders, including young people, parents or carers, officers, and health and educational representatives.


The Committee's findings indicated that the Stronger Families Hub was indeed providing a good service to children and families in Hillingdon. Service users expressed satisfaction with the support and advice received. However, the Committee identified areas for further development, particularly in terms of awareness, accessibility and capacity. Mindful of cost-effective solutions, the Committee presented seven recommendations to the Cabinet.


Councillor O'Brien, Cabinet Member for Children, Families & Education thanked Councillor Makwana and the Select Committee for their thorough review. She noted that the comprehensive report provided by the Committee highlighted the success of the service, evident from the increased demand, whether influenced by the legacy of Covid or global events.


Reflecting on the inception of the Stronger Families Hub, the Cabinet Member noted that the review had come at the right time. She expressed appreciation for the senior management team in children's services, crediting their forethought in turning the concept into a targeted and functional service.


The Cabinet Member acknowledged the ongoing demand and capacity review of the service and highlighted potential extensions to front door services to ensure the service remained aligned with the current needs of residents.


Alternative options considered and rejected


The Cabinet could have decided to reject some, or all, of the Committee’s recommendations or have pursued alternative routes by which to progress the objectives of the review.


Relevant Select Committee

Children, Families & Education

Expiry date for any scrutiny call-in / date decision can be implemented (if no call-in)

These decisions can be called-in by a majority of councillors on the above select committee by 5pm, 17 November 2023.

Officer(s) to action

Ryan Dell / Julie Kelly


Central Services / Children’s Services


Public - The report and any background papers relating to this decision by the Cabinet are available to view on the Council's website or by visiting the Civic Centre, Uxbridge.



Publication date: 10/11/2023

Date of decision: 09/11/2023

Decided at meeting: 09/11/2023 - CABINET

Effective from: 18/11/2023

Accompanying Documents: