A community event has been held in South Belfast to coincide with a newly formed locality planning group. The information and forum meeting was held in the Crescent Arts centre on the 29th June to examine how local structures can provide for children and young people in the area through the establishment of Family Support Hubs in South Belfast.

Joy Poots, a co-ordinator at South Belfast Sure Start attended the event and was pleased to see various groups come together.

“I was pleased with the turnout and how things went. It was important to raise awareness and discuss how we can maximise resources and utilise structures that are in place to help parents and children.”

The event was co-hosted by South Belfast Partnership Board and South Belfast Sure Start to bring together a range of interested stakeholders from all sectors, including community and voluntary, to provide information about the Children and Young People’s Strategic Partnership.

Joy Poots is hoping that the group can address areas where services can be improved.

“There has been a history of different services being available and we want to find a way for groups to work in tandem. One idea that came up today (Friday) involved plans to provide shared transport for parents.

South Belfast is such a large area, that we will have to decide whether more than one locality group is needed to cater for its residents, “ she added.

Family support hubs provide early intervention family support services to vulnerable families and children aged 0-18.

A family support hub is a network of agencies (voluntary/community and statutory) who work directly with parents and children in a local area.  The hub engages with families who do not meet the threshold for statutory social work support.  The aim is to avoid duplication and improve coordination of service delivery to individual families.