New website to help families in Essex

The Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service, the new public health service bringing together support for families in Essex, has launched a new website specifically for parents and children.

Virgin Care, which runs the service in partnership with children’s charity Barnardo’s, launched the website in February, and has continued to make improvements based on feedback received from families and commissioners Essex County Council.

The site allows users to find services available to them simply and easily by entering their home postcode. The site gives details about family support services and events offered at their closest Family Hub and other community locations known as “Delivery Sites”.

The Family Hubs and Delivery Sites are served by staff working in multidisciplinary Healthy Family Teams, which include Health Visitors, School Nurses and Support Workers, among others. The website provides information about the services provided by these professionals including one-to-one sessions and group activities.

It also provides families with helpful strategies to try at home as well as helping parents connect with one another and see the full range of informal events which are run across the county each week.

Support available can range from topics including; baby specific help with breastfeeding and infant feeding, moving to solids, weight management, healthy attachment, sleep, health and safety at home, health needs, and moving onto developing routines, consistency and boundaries as well as toilet training for toddlers and developing children – with schedules running throughout the day Monday to Friday.

Peer support groups and play and learn sessions also offer parents the opportunity to socialise with other parents while their children learn and develop emotions and coordination through play, crafts and other activities such as singing.

This is a key part of Virgin Care and Barnardo’s delivery plan for the Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service, with the website adding value to the service that’s already making sure that everyone in Essex has the best possible start in life through community services that are accessible, high quality and meet the identified needs of children, young people and families – helping improve health and wellbeing, combat loneliness, reduce isolation and build resilience in the communities.

Families can visit the site at www.essexfamilywellbeing.co.uk and feedback on the site can be sent to info@virgincare.co.uk.

Richard Comerford, Managing Director of Essex Child and Family Wellbeing Service, said: “We’re really excited about our new website which is the culmination of a lot of hard work from colleagues across Essex.

“This innovative website will support families to find the help they need easily based on their postcode, and it will develop further as we add self-help guides and offer further information that give them access to the support that’s available.”

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