In Hackney, ‘family support services’ is an umbrella term for a range of support (Figure 17).

Figure 17: Support available through family support services in Hackney

Figure 17: Support available through family support services in Hackney

The Ferncliff Contact Centre in Hackney is a purpose-built environment for children to have supervised contact with their family members. In 2014/15 the centre provided 422 contact sessions each month to 220 children across 136 families.

The Parenting Assessment and Support Service (PASS) helps families who are receiving statutory social work interventions, and where parenting and other environmental factors have been assessed as compromising the welfare of children in the household. During 2014/15, PASS worked with 229 children and completed interventions with 160 children, of which 43% were subject to a Child Protection Plan at the start of the intervention, reducing to 28% at the end of the intervention.

The expanded Troubled Families Programme was launched nationally in April 2015 to reach children living through domestic violence or their own or parental health needs, in addition to those meeting the existing criteria (see below). Almost 4,000 families who meet two of the six inclusion criteria are expected to be supported in Hackney over the next five years. 2 The six inclusion criteria are now:

  • parents and children involved in anti-social behaviour
  • adults out of work or at risk of financial exclusion or young people at risk of worklessness
  • children who are not attending school regularly
  • children of all ages who are in need of help and protection, or who are subject to a Child Protection Plan
  • families affected by domestic violence and abuse
  • parents and children with a range of health problems.

Hackney Children’s Social Care clinical service provides an outreach specialist Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) to support looked after children, care leavers, children in need and children under a Child Protection Plan. Approximately one third (916) of the children and young people with open cases in Children’s Social Care received this specialist CAMHS support in 2014/15.

Families of young children under five in the City of London have access to both universal and targeted family support provision.  Cass Child and Family Centre provides access to family support 48 weeks of the year on a drop-in basis, via a full time family support worker. All families with a new baby in the City are also offered a home visit from the family support worker where they are given information about relevant services and support available.

Additionally, there are universal access and targeted group-based family support services offered across the City at a range of locations. These support positive parenting for those with care responsibilities for under-fives. In conjunction with the Adult and Community Learning Team, the Cass Child and Family Centre (the City of London’s single Children’s Centre) provides evidence-based parenting programmes on a needs-led basis.  Furthermore, there are contracted links with the Golden Lane Children’s Centre in Islington to facilitate a family support group, which City families can also access. Proactive universal outreach is also provided by the City’s family information service (FYi).


  1. “Children’s Social Care Bi-Annual Report to Members,” Hackney Council, July 2015.
  2. “Children’s Social Care Bi-Annual Report to Members,” Hackney Council, July 2015.