The new health and wellbeing service for all pre-school children throughout Birmingham is to begin operating on 8 January.
Led by BCHC, the new service sees the integration of health visiting and children’s centre teams as part of a drive to give every child in Birmingham an equal chance to have the best start in life so they can achieve their full potential.
Named Birmingham Forward Steps, the citywide service will be delivered collaboratively by BCHC working alongside Barnardo’s, Spurgeons Children’s Charity, the Springfield Project and St. Paul’s Community Development Trust across 10 districts for children and their parents/ carers from shortly before birth up to the age of five.
The new service, commissioned by Birmingham City Council, is designed to provide all families of pre-school children with accessible, community-based services in their own homes, GP surgeries, children’s centres and a number of other community venues such as places of worship or libraries, with extra help available to those that need it.
The service will:
- support children to lead healthy lifestyles with advice on healthy diet and staying active;
- ensure children develop well physically, emotionally and socially
- help keep children safe;
- advise families on parenting and emotional wellbeing and offer extra family support when situations are challenging;
- support communities to develop accessible services that families really want by creating opportunities to listen to local people and develop new services together.
The views of parents and carers across the city have played a key role in designing a service that is for, in and of each community and capable of meeting particular local needs. A network of parent forums will be developed so that families continue to be at the heart of designing the services their community wants and needs.
For more information about Birmingham Forward Steps, visit www.bhamforwardsteps.co.uk where you can search for your nearest children’s centre according to your postcode and find out how to get in touch.