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Children’s services on the Isle of Wight have been praised for being at the cutting edge nationally in the development of early help and family hubs.

A delegation from the Isle of Wight Council and Barnardo’s were invited to Westminster to brief ministers on the Island’s early help offer and its approach to supporting families through its family hubs.

Simon Dear and Carol Attrill, from children’s services, together with Rachel McKernan, from Barnardo’s, delivered a well-received presentation to MPs and other local authorities. It focused on the innovative approach to early help on the Island, including how the council supports families with complex issues in disadvantaged areas.

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This was the second time the team had been invited to present at Westminster.

Mr Dear said:

“The Isle of Wight continues to be at the forefront of delivering innovative services that support families and promotes better outcomes for children locally.

“We have received requests for copies of the presentation, invites to visit other local authorities to share what we do and a request for a local visit by another member of the House of Lords.”

More than 50 MPs joined throughout the day as well as representatives from the House of Lords, leading national charities and other local authorities from around the country.

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Lord Farmer praised the council’s partnership with Hampshire County Council and welcomed Ofsted’s recent ‘good’ rating of children’s services on the Island. He said the Isle of Wight continued “to be at the cutting edge” in the development of early help and family hubs.

Councillor Paul Brading, Cabinet member for children’s services, said:

“It’s a great credit to the team and a result of our ‘Good’ Ofsted that we are now being invited to share our success stories at national level.

“My thanks to Simon and all the team that delivered the presentation, which I know went down very well.”

The family hub model, designed by the council and delivered by Barnardo’s, provides early support and intervention to children and families aged up to 19.


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