Agenda and minutes

Children, Families and Education Select Committee - Tuesday, 6th December, 2022 7.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 6 - Civic Centre, High Street, Uxbridge UB8 1UW. View directions

Contact: Anisha Teji  Email: or 01895 277655

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Tony Gill.


Declarations of interest in matters coming before this meeting




Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 233 KB


RESOLVED: That the minutes from the meeting on 3 November 2022 be agreed.


To confirm that the items of business marked as Part I will be considered in Public and that the items marked as Part II will be considered in Private


It was confirmed that all items would be heard in Part I.



The Stronger Families Hub: Our engagement with key stakeholders - exploring participation and feedback to improve service and satisfaction - Witness Session 1 pdf icon PDF 1 MB

Additional documents:


The Head of Service for First Response, MASH and out of hours social work - Children & Young People Services introduced the report on The Stronger Families Hub: Our engagement with key stakeholders – exploring participation and feedback to improve service and satisfaction – Witness Session One. A detailed overview of the report was provided and key aspects of the report were highlighted.


The Stronger Families Hub


The Stronger Families Hub was launched in August 2021. The Committee heard that the service provided a single point of contact for children, young people and families in Hillingdon to access a wide range of support services 24/7 and aimed to offer the right help at the right time.


Members were informed that experience gained through the Covid 19 pandemic informed the ways of working and helped shaped a delivery model to meet the demand for out of hours support. The new model aimed to:


           Focus on ‘prevention’ from the very first point of contact.

           Transition from 'Emergency Duty' to 24/7 Support

           Deliver a robust Early Help Offer

           Reduce the demand on statutory services


It was noted that operating under a clearly defined pathway had helped ensure all advice and support to children and families was targeted, consistent, and the use of pre statutory resources was maximised. The Stronger Families Hub changed the ‘front door’ approach, as well as the capacity and capability to deliver strong preventative services via an Early Help Assessment and Team around the family approach. Redirected resources embedded the Key Working Service across three localities offering a rich skill set by integrating the workforce. Members were informed that the service had supported and strengthened each locality to encourage lead professionals to confidently manage Stronger Families Plans where appropriate and build community resilience.


A review of the Stronger Families model was undertaken 12 months of operation. The findings of the reviews were outlined to the Committee.


In order to ensure that the service remained dynamic and responsive to children’s changing needs, it was reported that a number of initiatives were taking place including a review of the All Age Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub, MASH and Stronger Families Hub establishment.


Performance data


The Committee received detailed performance data throughout the report and presentation. Headline performance data highlighted included:


Contacts in the last 6 months                                                        11,541

Early Help Assessments completed                                             816

Referrals in the last 6 months                                                        2,074

Statutory assessments completed in the last 6 months                        2083


Service user feedback


The Committee was presented with feedback from service users. Since the Stronger Families Hub was launched it had been well received and utilised.




The Committee had regard to a number of appendices including:


           A blank Early Help Assessment form.

           A completed Early Help Assessment form that had been completed and referred to the Stronger Families Hub.

           An example of a Stronger Families Plan that detailed information such as child contact details, summary of review discussion and plan going forward.

           Terms of Reference for the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 44.


Cabinet Forward Plan pdf icon PDF 237 KB

Additional documents:


RESOLVED: That the Forward Plan be noted.



Work Programme pdf icon PDF 144 KB

Additional documents:


The following updates were noted:


·         The requested report on how funding had been allocated in schools for Ukrainian children would be presented to the Committee on 2 February 2023

·         Youth Services, the Budget and Corporate Parenting Panel meeting minutes would be considered at the Committee  meeting on 4 January 2023.

·         The service update on Early Years and Children’s Centres had been marked to ‘to be confirmed’ and would be added to the work programme at the appropriate time. This was due to changes ongoing in the area.


The Committee was mindful that the requested information report on an Ofsted inspection of a school in the Borough had been deferred for a second time. Members were keen to receive this report at the January 2023 meeting.


It was agreed that Democratic Services would explore whether any additional information could be provided on whether the Council would be undertaking new capacity calculations for each school within Hillingdon in response to Government guidelines.


Members also wished to hear from school representatives as part of the witness programme schedule in the major review.


RESOLVED: That the updates and work programme be noted.