City of York Council – York Family Information Service

About York Family Information Service

York Family Information Service sits within the City of York Council’s Customer and Communities directorate in the Communities and Prevention Team.

York Family Information Service provides free and impartial information to children, families and young people aged 0-19 (up to 25 years if have special educational needs or disabilities) on anything to do with family life in York. This includes information on Ofsted registered childcare providers, including a brokerage service, groups and activities for children and young people, support services including housing, benefits and emotional health and wellbeing and parenting support – plus much more.

Why did you wish to achieve the Customer Service Excellence Standard?

In a world where there is so much information out there it can be hard for families to know where to turn and who to trust with the information they receive. We felt the Families First Quality Award would help give that reassurance to anyone accessing our service that there is a quality assurance and we really do, do our upmost to ensure anyone accessing our service will receive good quality and accurate information.

What approach did you adapt to help prepare for your assessment?

Carefully working through the assessment questions, keeping in touch with the assessor should any questions arise and being realistic about the time that could be dedicated to complete the assessment, so that it is not rushed.

What did you or your team learn from the whole assessment process?

We learned that there really is so much that we do to support children, families and young people. It was fantastic to recognise the hard work the whole team do, the strengths we have and recognise areas we can improve do differently to continue to improve our customers journey and experience accessing our service.

Following the accreditation or your journey to becoming accredited, what impacts have you seen on your service delivery?

The FIS team feel their value even more and this has boosted confidence amongst the team and helped to understand why what we do is important and how this impacts our reputation and also the experiences of the ‘customer’ be that if a parent/carer or practitioner.

The accreditation shows we are not ‘just a service’ but we deliver an important role to families, children and practitioners and meet a series of standards too.

We can use our accreditation to help raise the profile of FIS to both internal and external partners, practitioners and families and are working on a communication plan.

Overall, how was your experience with Assessment Services Ltd?

You may consider examples of added value gained from the Assessment methodology

The experience was great. The process was straight forward from start to finish. Working through the assessment itself really made me and the team reflect on what we are doing and why we are doing it, and whether there is another way of doing things.

For example – making it clear how to contact neighbouring FIS’ for childcare across our border, the content we focus on in our communications such as newsletters, creating and maintaining links with other partners and services (recognised as a strength, but we always know despite this there is room to improve and develop!).

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