Chloe Smith
MP for Norwich North
Oct
28

Support for Norwich North families in the Budget

Author: Chloe Smith, Updated: 28 October 2021 16:06

I know how important it is to protect and support young people and families here in Norwich. I am continuing to work hard to ensure that families right across Norwich North are able to access the support services that they need and ensure they can access when they need to.

Young people's health is fundamental to all of our future prosperity. It is vital to ensure that Norwich's young people have the best start in life, and that means protecting their mental as well as physical health. So, the NHS Long Term Plan builds on the work first set out in the Children and Young People's Mental Health Green paper and expands funding for children's mental health services faster than overall NHS funding and total mental health spending. While the pandemic poses clear challenges for children and young people's mental health, it is encouraging that the most recent State of the Nation report found that children and young people aged five to 24 generally responded with resilience to changes in their lives between March and September 2020.

I’ve been working closely with the headteachers and schools in our areas on all these issues, as well as charities like MAP, and lobbying ministers for what’s needed.

As we continue to recover from the pandemic, children and young people's mental health is a priority for the Government. Last year, the Department for Education provided £8 million in funding for the Wellbeing for Education Return Scheme, and a further £7 million has now been provided to local authorities to provider further expert support as the programme continues. In March 2021, the Government also announced an additional £79 million over the 2021/22 financial year to accelerate the planned expansion of young people's mental health services, which will include 2,000 more children and young people getting access to the help they need.

I am also pleased that Mental Health Support Teams are being rolled out to schools and colleges. It is welcome that the number of these support teams is set to grow from 59 to 400 by April 2023, reaching nearly 3 million children in England. These teams will employ new staff who are being recruited and trained specifically for the programme.

In this afternoon's Budget, the Chancellor has announced funding for a network of Family Hubs as part of a £500 million package to support parents and children which will include an extra £170 million for childcare providers, £150 million to support training and development for the early years workforce, and an extra £200 million for the Supporting Families programme. This new network of Family Hubs will include holiday activity schemes and act as a single place where families can get access to services like childcare, midwifery services, breastfeeding help and job advice.

If you need support locally, please take a look at these links: 

Find out more from Norfolk County Council about school meals, advice and support: https://www.norfolk.gov.uk/education-and-learning/schools/school-meals-and-milk
Get help to see if you are eligible for support via benefits: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/benefits-introduction/what-benefits-can-i-get/
The Norfolk Assistance Scheme can help with food and essential supplies: https://www.norfolk.gov.uk/care-support-and-health/health-and-wellbeing/adults-health/coronavirus/community-support-for-people-at-home/accessing-food 

Domestic abuse continues to be a big focus. In February, the Government announced a £40 million funding boost and £20.7 million was allocated to local community-based sexual violence and domestic abuse services, with male specific services seeing a 60 per cent funding increase. I was encouraged by the Budget announcement of an additional £19 million funding towards tackling domestic abuse. This includes £15 million in 2021-22 across England and Wales to increase funding for perpetrator programmes that work with offenders to reduce the risk of abuse continuing.

I welcome all these measures and I know the power that the right family services can have in helping children and families at the earliest opportunity both here in Norwich and across Norfolk. Importantly, they not only support families with very young children but can also support families with older children and teenagers to get access to a range of services, such as health visiting, mental health support, reducing family conflict and parenting support. Family Hubs will be a core feature of how we help families and children in the future.

I hope you find this information helpful.  The Government’ is committed to young people and families, and so am I for us in Norwich.  If I can help constituents with any matter, please do email me on chloe@chloesmith.org.uk or ring my constituency office on 01603 414756.

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