What does your service do?
The Family Information Service provides free, impartial information, advice and assistance to families regarding childcare, schools, services and leisure activities for families with children and young people aged from 0-25 in Oxfordshire.
The service delivers the statutory responsibilities listed under section 12 of the Childcare Act (2006) as well as other statutory responsibilities, on behalf of Oxfordshire County Council.
The service is delivered via an online Family Services Directory, email, website, Facebook and Twitter, phoneline, and a brokerage service. This includes a dedicated Disability Information Officer to help parents source suitable childcare for disabled children and those with additional needs).
As required by legislation, the service has a particular focus on providing information and support to families with disabled children, and being proactive in reaching vulnerable / disadvantaged families who may find it difficult to access the service themselves.
Where families are being supported through brokerage, assistance will stop when options have been identified and actions taken. Where no options have been presented we will try to signpost families to other services for support.
What geographical area does the service cover?
The Family Information Service provides information and advice for families living in Oxfordshire or those requiring information on services provided in Oxfordshire e.g. for families living on the border.
Who does your service provide for?
The Family Information Service provides information, advice and assistance to parents of children and young people aged 0-25 years and provides additional help to families who would otherwise struggle to access services by offering a brokerage service.
Our brokerage offer includes a dedicated Disability Information Officer who helps parents source suitable childcare for disabled children and those with additional needs.
Information and guidance is also available to professionals, organisations and agencies from the public, private and voluntary sectors who are working with families in Oxfordshire.
The information and guidance includes services for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. Parents and carers are able to discuss with service providers the specific needs for their child or young person.
Through the brokerage service the Family Information Team may meet with families for one to one help if there are significant barriers to accessing support through the main channels: email, website, social media and phoneline.
How can I start using the service?
Parent carers (and professionals, organisations and agencies from the public, private and voluntary sectors who are working with families in Oxfordshire) can contact the service via telephone and email.
All information and guidance is free and impartial.
Parent carers and professionals can also access free information and guidance direct from the Family Information Services Directory www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/familyinformation
How are decisions made about who can use your service?
The Family Information Service was developed in response to The Childcare Act 2006, section 12. The service provides information, advice and assistance to all parents or prospective parents, and with regards to the needs of the parents of disabled children or young persons.
How do you communicate with service users and how are they involved in decision making/planning?
The Family Information Service Team communicates with service users via email, internet, including Social Media, phoneline and occasionally face to face.
The website and the directory each have ‘help and accessibility options’ at the top of each web page in order to help service users (www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/parents and www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/familyinformation)
It is important that we continue to develop our service in partnership with you so we may ask for feedback by email, online surveys, post, phone and face to face.
Where significant changes are made to service delivery this will be communicated through the range of channels available.
Is your service fully accessible?
The Family Information Service does not have a ‘shop front’ for service users to access.
Please feel free to contact us in advance to discuss your specific needs and we will work with you to resolve any access issues as far as possible.
Otherwise the service can be accessed using the FIS email, Directory, website or social media.
What training are the staff supporting children with SEND had or are having?
All staff are required to undertake the County Council's online training on Equality and Diversity.
Oxfordshire County Council require that all staff are actively engaged with continuous professional development and that they undertake training, work shadowing and project work to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding.
The Family Information Team have all undertaken mandatory training including Child Protection and Safeguarding and are required to update their knowledge in line with legislative changes and Oxfordshire County Council policies and procedures.
Who can I contact for further information?
You can contact the FIS helpline on firstname.lastname@example.org
How will I know my child will be safe using this service?
The information and guidance that is provided by the Family Information Team is subject to legislation eg Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and statutory requirements from Government bodies
You will be supported by the Family Information Team as to what to consider when looking for a suitable early years education or childcare service; including meeting the welfare needs of your child.
Respecting and understanding that it is the parent carer who knows their child best; it will be their decision as to what service they will use for their child.
As an Oxfordshire County Council information service we are impartial and therefore we do not recommend or endorse any particular service or provider.