Families First News

The latest news

Families First Awards - Still time to make a nomination!

Nominations are coming in at a good pace for our Families First Awards and you still have until Friday March 19th to make your nomination to recognise and say thank you to those that have gone above and beyond in their role over the past year in supporting families.

The last year has really highlighted the importance of partnership working and all the good work that takes place across Hertfordshire. These awards will be an opportunity to celebrate your commitment and achievements in helping families receive the support they need.

There are 6 Team awards and 7 Individual awards, which includes one for the Unsung Hero, a new award that recognises the fantastic work undertaken by our very kind volunteers. You can view the categories here and then make your nomination via our easy to complete form.

Families First Awards 2020/21 - Make a nomination

 Or scan the QR code from your mobile phone:-

Please send this email on to all your professional contacts to ensure as many people as possible get the opportunity to make a nomination.



Holiday Activity Programme (HAPpy)

We want to help you make plans for the Easter Holidays - fun filled days for kids, lots of physical activity, a bit of enrichment and some scrumptious food!

A collaboration between Herts Sports Partnership, Hertfordshire County Council and Hertfordshire Community Foundation, HAPpy is the name of Hertfordshire's Holiday Activity Programme which, this Easter, will see thousands of free places for children who are aged 5-16 and in receipt of free school meals.

Activity camps will be run across Hertfordshire, by all sorts of clubs and organisations - plus, you'll soon be able to search each and every one on a new Activity Finder!

We'll have more news for you from 19 March!

CLICK HERE for the HAPpy website

Please help us to promote the HAPpy programme by sharing this information with your families, colleagues and networks.

Fit, Fed & Read Easter 2021 - Referrals are now open!

The Fit, Fed and Read 2021 referrals are now open, please distribute within your network to begin registering eligible young people.

We are very pleased to announce that the programmes is preparing to run in 10 locations across Hertfordshire this Easter subject to Government guidance and national lockdown measures.

What is Fit, Fed & Read?

Fit, Fed & Read is a free school holiday activity programme that operates across Hertfordshire during the school Easter and Summer holidays, targeted at children on free school meals.

The aim of the programme is to provide a high-quality holiday activity scheme which tackles holiday hunger, social isolation and physical inactivity. The programme also provides support with literacy and supplies all children with a nutritious meal every day, free of charge.

Further details can be found here


The Easter programme will be running:

Week 1 - Monday 29th  March - Thursday 1st April 10am - 2pm
Week 2 - Tuesday 6th  April - Friday 9th April 10am - 2pm

No delivery on Bank Holidays

Entry Criteria

To enter the programme the attendees should be:
- Aged between 7-11 years
- Eligible for free school meals


There will be projects running in each of the following locations:

  • Waltham Cross, Broxbourne
  • Grovehill, Hemel Hempstead
  • Sele, East Herts
  • Cowley Hill, Hertsmere
  • Jackmans, North Herts
  • Sopwell, St Albans
  • Bedwell, Stevenage  
  • South Oxhey, Three Rivers
  • Watford Central, Watford
  • Peartree, Welwyn Garden City

How to Enter

To enter the programme, please use this link. Please note that making an entry using this form does not guarantee a place on the scheme; a member of staff from Herts Sports Partnership will be in touch following the entry to confirm. Where projects are full, entries will be added to a waiting list and contacted should a space become available.  


If you have any questions regarding the programme or you require a paper entry form, please contact us on fitfedandread@herts.ac.uk. 

Hertfordshire Opportunities Portal (HOP)

Hertfordshire Opportunities Portal (HOP) is the premier gateway in Hertfordshire to explore career opportunities. Find out about:

  • career path options
  • job opportunities
  • apprenticeships and work experience
  • skills development and professional qualification programme

This portal is a great resource to share with families that are looking looking for a job or have recently been made redundant.

Take a look at the Employment Hub to discover the advice, support and guidance that can be accessed to help secure employment

Also you can sign up to their newsletter from the Hub to keep up-to-date with local employment news and opportunities.

Spot the Signs & Emotional Wellbeing Project - Herts Mind Network

The Spot the Signs & Emotional Wellbeing project is being delivered by Herts Mind Network. The project offers free online and in-person training and workshops direct to children and young people, parents/carers and youth professionals. The training and workshops include the Five Ways to Wellbeing, Introduction to Mental Health, Adolescent Development, Emotional Wellbeing and Coping Strategies, Introduction to Spotting the Signs for Suicide and the fuller 4.5 hour Spot the Signs – Youth Suicide Prevention course. The programme provides emotional resilience and signposting support to empower children and young people and the adults around them to feel confident enough to manage their mental and emotional health.

If you’re a youth professional working in Hertfordshire and want to know more about the training and workshops (including how to book), please visit the following page on the Herts Mind Network website.

For Baby's Sake referrals

The For Baby’s Sake Trust have been supporting families in Stevenage, North Herts, Hatfield & Welwyn Garden City for 6 years now and recently due to COVID, more widely throughout the county using a variety of remote tools. The need for support is ever more pressing as society attempts to negotiate through these terribly difficult times dominated by lockdown, home schooling, job insecurities and a myriad of unprecedented stress factors.

For Baby’s Sake is an innovative, therapeutic, trauma informed, programme working with all family members supporting a recovery framework to overcome the devastating effects of domestic abuse, acknowledge & explore unresolved & often complex childhood trauma and change harmful patterns of behaviour to develop a home environment where children can flourish. We adopt an Attachment focussed parenting approach that enhances the opportunity for children to feel safe & secure with parents who are emotionally available and attuned to all their needs. There must be a current pregnancy to harness change motivations, a desire on behalf of both parents to co-parent their unborn baby (although they do not have to be in a relationship) and we work with the families until the baby reaches the age of 2. The significance of this 2 year timescale is evidenced in all recent child development research.

For Baby’s Sake offers an unrivalled package of tailored support that creates the real possibility for lasting and sustainable change. The multi-disciplinary team consists of highly trained, therapeutic practitioners who have the ability to establish & maintain first class working relationships that consistently guarantee engagement and crucially provides the framework for the deeper, therapeutic exploration that allows service users to understand the impact of their own parenting experiences.

If you would like us to join one of your team meetings then please feel free to contact us or if you have any questions relating to the referral pathway; do please get in touch on 01438 873420 or welcome@forbabyssake.org.uk. 

Tackling County Lines, a proactive safeguarding approach - Free conference

The 'Tackling County Lines, a proactive safeguarding approach’ event is a free 2 day conference hosted by the National County Lines Coordination Centre (NCLCC), which is available to all agencies to attend and will take place on 23rd and 24th March. Thereafter, all the material will be available to view on demand following the event. 

It will be particularly useful for law enforcement staff, decision makers, frontline practitioners and their managers.

This event will provide knowledge and understanding of county lines criminality, including exploitation of both children and vulnerable adults. It will provide attendees with practical guidance and advice, understanding of best practice in terms of both tackling offending and safeguarding victims, which will assist them in providing appropriate support and interventions.

Key topics include:

  • Section 45 Defence and the NRM
  • Tackling Cuckooing
  • Managing complex safeguarding
  • Use of civil orders
  • Tackling transportation
  • Tactical options
  • County lines lived experience

Please register using this link and please use your work email address. Please ensure that you add the event to your calendar. A timetable will be shared after you have registered, so that you can select which presentations you would like to attend. There will be opportunities to ask questions.

Please share this link with your colleagues, there are no limitations around numbers of attendees and we want to reach as many people as possible! We look forward to you joining us.

Childcare Sufficiency Survey for Parents - still live

Parental Survey – Hertfordshire Childcare Sufficiency

Hertfordshire County Council would like feedback from parents and carers on childcare to help us understand the current market position and to help us plan for sufficient childcare places across Hertfordshire

This survey is for all parents/carers with children aged between 0 and 14 years old.
Please encourage the families you work with to complete this questionnaire, where appropriate.
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