Issue details

23/00076 - Family Hubs - Start for Life, Infant Feeding

Proposed Decision:

The Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Integrated Children’s Services, is asked to:


a) APPROVE the service and wider workforce development for the Infant Feeding Service to increase current infant feeding activity:


b) APPROVE the required expenditure to deliver this activity via the Family Hub Grant Funding; and


c) DELEGATE authority to the Director of 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.



The proposal to use the Family Hub Grant to increase current infant feeding activity provides the opportunity to deliver an increased offer of infant feeding contacts as well as providing an opportunity to build confidence in women as they are assured, supported and encouraged in the first six to wight weeks whilst breastfeeding is established. There will be an antenatal infant feeding contact, an early contact postnatally and regular contacts for the first twelve weeks. Breastfeeding takes time to learn and can be challenging to persevere without support around a family. Research has shown that various forms of support may be required and offering additional contacts is an appropriate approach which the opportunity provided through the Family Hub Grant funding presents as this aligns with the Department for Education (DfE) expectations.


Options Considered and Discarded:

A targeted approach in a small geography was initially considered but discarded as this could create inequities in the provision of support.


How the proposed decision supports the Council’s Strategy 2022-26:

This service contributes to ‘Priority 1: Levelling up Kent’ of the Framing Kent’s Future Our Council Strategy 2022-2026’ as providing parents/mums the support in giving their babies the best start in life to improve the population’s health and narrowing health inequalities. 


Data Protection implications:

Data Protection and General Data Protection Regulations are part of KCC contract documentation. This includes a Schedule of Processing, Personal Data and Data Subjects and confirms the data relationship(s) between the Parties. Data Protection Impact Assessments are undertaken with providers as appropriate.


Decision type: Key

Reason Key: Affects more than two Electoral Divisions;

Decision status: For Determination

Division affected: (All Division);

Notice of proposed decision first published: 30/08/2023

Decision due: Not before 28th Sep 2023 by Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health
Reason: In order that the proposed decision can be published for a minimum of 28 days, in accordance with statutory requirements

Lead member: Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health

Lead director: Dr Anjan Ghosh

Department: Social Care, Health & Wellbeing

Contact: Wendy Jeffreys, Consultant in Public Health 03000 416310 Email:

Consultation process

Cabinet Committee recommendations and other consultation: In July 2023 Kent County Council (KCC) launched a public consultation to gain a better understanding of how services can be best integrated to meet local needs, through a Kent Family Hub network, bringing services and partners together to provide a single point of access for family support services. This consultation finished on 13 September 2023.


Shaping the Family Hubs and Start for Life Offer | Let’s talk Kent


The proposed decision was discussed at the Health Reform and Public Health Cabinet Committee on 5 September 2023 and recommendations were endorsed.


It has also been presented at the Children’s, Young People and Education Cabinet Committee on 12 September 2023 for information.



The proposed decision will be discussed at the Health Reform and Public Health Cabinet Committee on 5 September 2023.


It will also be presented at the Children’s, Young People and Education Cabinet Committee on 12 September 2023 for information.


Financial implications: To support the delivery of the Family Hub Transformation Programme, KCC is receiving a grant of £1,256,332 from the DfE to March 2025 which is to support system transformation including work-force development and supporting development of new services. This funding relates to the financial year 2023-2024, including roll-over from year 1 and the allocation for financial year 2024-2025.

Legal implications: The Council will enter into a number of contractual agreements to support delivery in line with Spending the Council's Money and Public Contract Regulations 2015.

Equalities implications: Equality Implications A draft Infant feeding Family hubs Equality Impact Assessment has been developed and identified a potential impact on communication with neurodivergent individuals and those with hearing loss which could be mitigated through ascertaining whether the individual has additional needs at the outset of the first communication with this service and recording this information with the client’s permission. Recognition that English may not be a spoken language which could be mitigated through provision of a translation service or offer of contact in a written digital format.