Agenda item

23/00075 - Family Hubs - Star for Life, Perinatal Mental Health and Parent Infant Relationship Interventions


Wendy Jeffreys, Consultant in Public Health, was in attendance for this item.  


  1. Mr Watkins gave a brief overview of both Family Hubs – Start for Life decisions that were being presented at the meeting. It was noted that the funding was from the central government to expand the county's offer in perinatal mental health and infant feeding.  


  1. Wendy Jeffreys then provided further details. The importance of early parent and infant bonding was highlighted, and the funding would be used to train and support the workforce in attachment theory, trauma-informed practice and response and parent infant relationships. There would also be measures to support cases where an intense need was required. It was said that there was a lack of local data on the level of need and work was ongoing to assess this. Nationally 15% of babies in the general population required specialised parent infant relationship interventions. It was said there would be a co-creation of a parent and infant relationship and perinatal mental health strategy which the Council did not currently have but was a Department for Education requirement. Ms Jeffreys said that this work would be implemented as part of wider children’s and young people’s strategies which were currently being developed. 


  1. In response to comments and questions from Members, it was said: 


(a) A Member said that there was limited detail for the £3 million figure and how this had been calculated as it worked out at around £60 per child affected by disorganised attachment. It was asked that further detail be provided on the extent of the problem and the effectiveness of the funding. Dr Ghosh said the funding was nationally prescribed but would be used to build on work already ongoing. For context, it was noted that The Public Health grant is about £49 per person. It was said as part of the funding Public Health would continue to monitor and gain further understanding of the extent of the problem and effectiveness of the interventions. Ms Jeffries said that the extent of the need was unknown at this time, but more would be understood as the programme progressed. It was noted that this was the case nationally and not just in Kent. It was noted that the current focus would be on early interventions up to the age of 2, but in the future interventions for older children would also be considered. The Member asked that a report could come back to update on the progress and effectiveness of the programme. 


(b) A Member welcomed the report and the funding, as further research was needed in this area. It was noted that a review of how effective the interventions were would be helpful to inform future decisions. 


(c) It was recommended that a report would come back in 12 months on the progress of the programme.


(d) During the meeting it was noted that the figures in the report did not match. After the meeting, it was confirmed that the correct figure was £3,051,809. 


  1. RESOLVED, subject to the above, the Health Reform and Public Health Cabinet Committee agreed to:


  1. APPROVE the service workforce development in regard to low to moderate perinatal mental health and parent-infant relationships, as detailed in the report. 
  2. APPROVE the required expenditure to deliver this activity via Family Hub Grant Funding up to £3,051,809 for the period ending April 2025. 
  3. DELEGATE authority to the Director of Public Health, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Integrated Children’s Service and the Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, to take necessary actions, including but not limited to allocating resources, expenditure, entering into contracts and other legal agreements, as required to implement the decision.


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