Designing Waltham Forest's Families & Homes Hub service model

The Assignment

Waltham Forest wanted support to design the service model to be used at its Families and Homes Hub, a building set to open in 2024. The Council wanted the Hub to serve as a space where residents who experience a communication challenge or disability, are particularly vulnerable or have more complex issues could be supported face-to-face. This meant that customer-facing teams delivering housing, care and family support services could be co-located and work more closely together. The Council’s existing face-to-face offer, including through its 8 libraries, could be also supplemented and enhanced by the service model offered through the Hub.

The Role

Our approach involved:

  • Service reviews: 1:1 and group interviews with key services to understand how and where they were currently being delivered, what the strengths and challenges were, and what data was available on volumes, customer experiences and outcomes.
  • Resident research: We met with residents and service users 1:1 and in community settings to capture their experiences, considering issues around protected characteristics, accessibility, and additional support needs and developed resident journey maps.
  • Best practice: We conducted interviews with Hub teams from other councils to capture and feed in innovative practice and examples.
  • Service model options: Using the primary research and data as our basis, we developed a set of options for the F2F service model to be delivered from the Hub, looking at the services offered and ways of working, the resident experience and means of access, the Waltham Forest context, the physical space and layout, and the benefits and evaluation framework.

Key Outcomes

  • Agreement on the implementation of a relational face-to-face service model incorporating key customer-facing services in housing, social care and health (as well as partners in the VCS) which deploys face-to-face contact in a specially designed Families and Homes Hub to support residents with complex needs to achieve improved outcomes
  • Agreement on a training and culture change programme alongside finalised layout and architect drawings for the Hub
  • Development of an implementation roadmap which captured key milestones and resources required to deliver