October 2020

Families First News

Local area news

Welwyn Hatfield & Hertsmere Bulletin

October 2020

We are collating the updates we receive for the services into district bulletins. If you would like to include your service update/news for this area please email familiesfirst.support@hertfordshire.gov.uk and please put "Newsletter update" in the subject box, thank you.

Healthy Start Vouchers

The County Council is trying to reach over five thousand Hertfordshire families who are missing out on £100’s of food and milk vouchers.

Please see our article on the Healthy Start Vouchers and see the figures below from the NHS (August 31st 2020), which details the numbers of individuals taking up the Health Care Vouchers in your districts.

For more information, please contact Barbara Alexander or Gary Vaux at HCC’s Money Advice Unit on 01438 843456.

YC Hertfordshire support for young people in Broxbourne, East Herts & Welwyn Hatfield

Over the coming term we will be working alongside schools and our partners to support young people as they return to school, college and adjust to changing circumstances. YC Hertfordshire youth workers and personal advisers have been maintaining contact with young people throughout lockdown to deliver online projects and Individual Support. Over the summer, we have been able to deliver services directly to young people through our Summer Positive Alternatives projects, detached work and support to young people through our Access Points.

We will be extending this direct delivery this term and maintaining some of the online delivery that has worked well for young people. Please click here for details of our Welwyn & Hatfield offer for this term.


Emotional Wellbeing

With the added pressures of COViD-19, helping young people to develop and maintain positive mental health is more important than ever. YC Hertfordshire are offering a range of projects that will support young people in bringing about lifestyle changes, adjusting to new demands and learning skills and techniques which they can apply to their everyday situations to improve emotional wellbeing, as well as develop their resilience and relationships with others.

After the success of delivering these projects online, we will continue to offer both direct face-to-face projects and online projects this coming term. This enables young people who may not be able to access the face to face group delivery, either due to where they live or their current circumstances, to access a safe supportive virtual group.

Emotional Wellbeing Project

A project for young people where low mood, anxiety or stress is interfering with their enjoyment or life and normal activities. This project offers a safe environment where young people learn how small lifestyle changes can make a significant difference to the way you feel. With the support of qualified youth workers and their peers, young people can try out new activities which help them feel better about their life and future.

Online via Microsoft Teams



Ages 13-17


Cheshunt Young People’s Centre



Ages 13-17

Hatfield Young People’s Centre, Breaks Manor



Ages 13-17

Ware Young People’s Centre



Ages 13-17


Supporting You Project

This project helps young people to develop skills to improve their confidence and self-esteem, young people learn a range of CBT techniques which they can apply to their every-day lives to take greater control of their circumstances and build resilience.

Cheshunt Young People’s Centre



Ages 13-17

Welwyn Garden City Young People’s Centre



Ages 13-17

Online via Microsoft Teams



Ages 13-17

Healthy Relationships Project

Healthy Relationships supports young people to understand the difference between healthy, positive relationships and relationships which are not. Young people learn how to stay safe online, to recognise and know how to report exploitation, and or abuse within relationships and how to make informed, safe choices.

Online via MS Teams

Wednesdays 6-8pm

Ages 13-17

Hertford Young People’s Centre,Zoo Café

Tuesdays 6-8pm

Ages 13-17

Supporting Young People with their Future

COVID-19 has meant that many young people are facing more challenges and greater uncertainty when planning for their future. The following resources and support are available to help young people think about their next steps, boost their employability and develop their skills.

Access Points

Our Access Points have been risk-assessed in light of COViD-19 and are now open and available for young people to attend. Personal advisers are on hand to provide information, advice, guidance and support on education, work, training and volunteering, as well as available YC Hertfordshire youth work projects and programmes. Locations, opening times and details for young people on how they can book an appointment can be found within the information above.

Hertfordshire Opportunities Portal

This website allows young people to access all current opportunities across Hertfordshire, including apprenticeships, work experience and careers, as well as skills development and professional qualification programmes. The project can be accessed via the following link: https://www.hopinto.co.uk/

New Youth Projects  

TRACKS Young Men’s Project (Broxbourne) – This project aims to develop young men’s confidence and self-esteem and equip them with the knowledge, ability and attitudes to reduce the risk of them being criminally exploited, and to enable them to make positive choices concerning a range of influences and issues within their lives.

Better Choices – The Better Choices project provides individual support for young people vulnerable to sexual exploitation. Young people learn about the risks when using social media and how to keep themselves safe online. Young people are encouraged into group work projects which introduce them to new friendship groups and new opportunities.

Positive Pathways – Positive Pathways provides Individual Support to young people who are at risk of engaging in or are already involved with antisocial behaviour. Young people explore the root causes of their behaviour and are supported in addressing underlying issues. They then develop a personal action plan focussed on raising aspirations and accessing alternative positive opportunities.

NHS Cadets – The NHS Cadets project provides young people with the opportunity to develop their knowledge, confidence and skills, and is ideal for any young person who has an interest in the caring profession and/or volunteering or working within the NHS.

Wild at Hudnall – In partnership with YC Hertfordshire and Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust, Wild at Hudnall is an exciting new project which will provide a range of free, nature-based activities which focus on wellbeing, nature, conservation and learning. The project supports young people who are experiencing mental ill health and challenges with emotional wellbeing. Further details about the available sessions can be found here or at https://www.ychertfordshire.org/hudnall-park/go-wild-at-hudnall/

Useful Information to distribute to young people

Above are links to pdfs we have produced for young people which include:

  • Details of all YC Hertfordshire projects they can join in their local area
  • Tips for looking after emotional wellbeing and physical health
  • Tips for keeping safe online
  • How young people can start planning for their futures and access YC Hertfordshire services to support them with this

How to refer a young person to YC Hertfordshire

If you wish to refer a young person to a project or programme please click here for our online referral form.   

Herts Sports Partnership

Through our Active Local project we are working closely with community organisations and Hertsmere Borough Council to develop a variety of sport and physical activity opportunities in Cowley Hill, Hertsmere, and to do this effectively we would like to find out the opinions of the residents and local community. More information about Active Local can be found here: https://sportinherts.org.uk/

Please click here for our survey and we would be really grateful if you could please complete our survey so we can make sure the activities we provide are affordable, appropriate and accessible for everyone.

If you would prefer someone to contact you to go through the survey, please email us at a.varran2@herts.ac.uk and we can arrange to telephone you to discuss this further.

The survey will take about 15 minutes to complete and everyone who completes the survey will be put into a draw for a £50 Tesco voucher.

If at any stage you have any queries / questions about the survey, please do not hesitate to contact us at a.varran2@herts.ac.uk.

Family Centre Services

My Baby’s Brain

This support package uses the Five to Thrive building blocks (respond, cuddle, relax, play and talk). In addition the sessions will includes elements of: using empathy with a baby/child; behavioural states; claiming/attunement/regulatory patterning; soothing/stimulation; building resilience; mindful awareness; co-regulation and co-learning.

Parental Emotional Well-being

Although elements of improving self-esteem runs through all the packages, this is a standalone package which could include: family/social networks; personal power; reflection, assertiveness and communication; the possible effects of parental low self-esteem on children; nurturing.

Protective Behaviours (PBs) - 2 options

1. To support parents to manage their own feelings and behaviours:

This support package is designed to develop parents’ frameworks for personal safety, self-esteem, resilience and confidence building. These sessions will include: exploring their own feelings, thoughts and behaviour; the two PBs themes and the Seven Strategies.

2. To assist parents to understand their children’s behaviour and work through relational struggles:

This package is designed to be delivered to parents who find their children’s behaviour challenging. Developing parents’ awareness of the link between emotional wellbeing and behaviour is central to this intervention. The sessions include elements of: Parental feelings, thoughts and behaviours; the two PBs themes; the Seven Strategies; the importance of language when communicating with children; reframing language; unwritten rules; naming feelings; ‘Stop-Feel-Think-Do’; impact of assertive, passive, aggressive parenting styles on children; engaging parents to be reflective about their child’s own inner world of feelings, thoughts and behaviours; Early Warning Signs; safety continuum and helping children and parents build support networks.

Domestic Abuse

This package has been designed to support parents in the following areas: understanding of domestic abuse, including recognising abusive behaviours and the impact of these behaviours on themselves and their children; developing an understanding of healthy relationships and the positive impact of these relationships; trauma bonding; hopes for the future and keeping safe strategies; support networks. Self-esteem and emotional well-being runs through every session.                                                                                                                    

This support is not offered to perpetrators of domestic abuse.

Supervision and Safety

This support package includes elements of: Exploring concerns and immediate risks; Home safety check; Personal safety and Safe adults; E-safety, Safe supervision and Parental responsibility; Effective and appropriate management of behaviour, and Family rules; Strengths and Weaknesses

Perinatal Support

This support package can be delivered from approximately 28 weeks pregnant to 1 year. The package will be designed according to presenting needs and can include elements of: role of a parent; safe handling (including dressing and undressing nappy changing); infant feeding; hygiene (home/clothing/bathing); emotional needs (understanding and responding to); emotional well-being of parents; routines; safety (home, community, adults); managing stress; transitions into parenting; support networks. It includes activities from My Baby’s Brain (both Antenatal MBB and elements of the MBB Five to Thrive/Trauma and Recovery) and Infant Mental Health Online (IMHOL) if appropriate.

Physical Health

This support package includes information and practical support and activities around: healthy diet; food groups; benefits of exercise; getting out and about; vitamins; budgeting for healthy ingredients; recipes; oral health; personal power, self-esteem.

Routines, Guidance and Boundaries (12 sessions)

Alongside observations to see what strategies are already in place, support will be offered in the following areas: parent’s own experiences, expectations; play/time/turn taking; labelled praise; positive house rules; rewards and consequences; feelings and what we do with them; nurturing; listening; communication; routines; reframing language; unwritten rules; ‘Stop-Feel-Think-Do’; support networks; consolidation strategies to sustain progress.

Supporting information:

  • A support package will always begin with a Family Star assessment completed with the parent/carer. This Star will be reviewed every 6-8 weeks after the initial action plan has commenced. The impact of the support offered is assessed with the parent at each review; it will then be agreed with the parent whether to: continue with current action plan; offer a further package of support or close the case to Family Support Service and support the family into the services supplied by the Early Start teams. The parenting interventions will be offered for a minimum of 6 sessions unless otherwise indicated
  • Another tool may be identified following this initial assessment i.e. Families First Assessment (FFA) or Graded Care Profile (GCP)
  • All support packages aim to support a parent’s self-esteem, emotional well-being and resilience to ensure the parents are able to effect a positive change for their child/ren
  • Motivational Interviewing techniques are used to strengthen a parent's own motivation and commitment to change
  • Each support package is designed to suit the individual family’s needs
  • A summary report about the impact of the parenting intervention will always be completed at the end of the parenting intervention and can be accessed via the EHM

Please also click here for more details about the Family Toolkit course and please click here for further information on the Emerging Needs Support service.

The referral form can be accessed: www.hertsfamilycentres.org/professionals-area


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