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You said, we did

We are always looking at and improving our service to make sure families get the support they want and need. One way we do this is by capturing feedback from the people who use our services

smiley to sad face feedback buttons

We collect feedback in several ways using postal questionnaires, telephone interviews, internet surveys and questionnaires following training events.

If you want to give us feedback about our service at any time you can complete our online survey feedback survey.

You can also contact us directly if you have more detailed comments to make. We have a comments, compliments and complaints policy too.

How are we doing?

Our current user feedback tells us:

  • When asked how helpful the information, advice and support was, 92% gave us 4 or 5 stars (out of 5).
  • When asked what difference the information, advice and support made 84%, gave us 4 or 5 stars (out of 5).
  • When asked if they would recommend our service to others, 88% gave us 4 or 5 stars (out of 5).

People who commented positively about the service said:

  • “You’ve really made a difference as I felt very much alone and unsupported and out of my depth before contacting DiAS.”
  • “DiAS are an invaluable service, a lifeline, and that it’s amazing to have impartial knowledgeable people who are able to talk through situations.”
  • “Their [DiAS] support gave me the knowledge and confidence to speak to professionals about my child and have my concerns taken seriously.”

When we have comments that are less positive, we analyse the feedback and look again at the support we give to see whether we could do something more or do it differently. We regularly reflect on our practice to make sure we give the best service we can.

We have made the following changes to our service within the last 2 years, to respond to the feedback we have received.

  • Increased ways for families to ask for support by introducing a web referral form.
  • Changed the way we work, so that parent carers can book a slot to talk to us at a time convenient for them.
  • Appointed Children and Young People’s Workers, so that this group can have direct support to share their views and be listened to.
  • Increased our reach by starting the Ambassador Volunteer Project. This enables families to access support in their communities.
  • Offered more online information sessions so that advice, support and information is accessible to more families.
  • Offered more information sessions for professionals, so that know how and when to refer us and where to get information so that they can support their families more effectively.
  • Increased the amount of information and resources on our website as a first point of call.
  • Used social media and the website to share developing and changing information due to COVID and its impact.

“The service offered is fine, however trying to get hold of DiAS can sometimes be challenging.”

We increased the capacity of our enquiry line staff, so that enquiries can be dealt with as quickly as possible.

Callers can leave messages on our answering machine outside the hours of the enquiry line opening hours. We call back as soon as possible – almost always within a working day.

We are exploring other ways for people to enquire and get information, such as by text, live chat, drop in sessions and more and better resources online. This includes talking to other services like ours to find out what they do.

An enquiry form has been developed for the website so that people who need support can be referred to the right person straightaway.

“Staff are extremely well trained but unfortunately too busy to support us at meetings.”

We increased the number of volunteers in the service to help support those families who need face to face meeting support.

We trained volunteers in meeting support and some in higher–level support such as mediation and tribunals.

We developed our offer of pre-meeting support. This helped families to feel better equipped and confident to attend meetings alone where we are unable to support them face to face.

We produced a range of new information and materials for parents and carers to help with meetings. This is available on our website.

View (or hide) more feedback...

“It took time for a DiAS Officer to call me back.”

We have increased the number of casework officer we have and now have two part-time officers in each of four areas of the county (8 officers in total).

Our enquiry line staff give support and information when someone first contacts the service, so no family is waiting for support. If an enquirer needs more support this will come from a conversation with a casework officer.

Families are signposted to other organisations and resources by the enquiry line staff. This is sometimes all an enquirer needs, but if not, it means a parent or carer has information to read and use before a call from a casework officer.

We changed our working practices so that no family is waiting too long for a call back.

At peak periods when the service is at its busiest, we explain how long a parent or carer may be waiting for a casework officer to contact them.

At certain times of year, such as transition or exam time, we publish specific information on social media and our website to help families get specific information more quickly.

“I’m not sure who you are and whether you’re part of Devon County Council.”

Every Information, Advice and Support Service, like DiAS, is funded by a Local Authority but has to make sure that they work in a way that is “arms length” from them. We make our decisions about running the service and have our own website. We have a Reference Group which includes parents and they help up to check that we are impartial. We also gather themes and trends from our work and use this to tell Devon County Council and others what is and isn’t working for the people we support.Parents have told us they know us as DiAS, rather than Devon Information Advice and Support. They also told us they didn’t understand why there was a boat in our logo. Based on this feedback we have created a new logo which says more clearly who we are. The boat will be no more.

We commissioned a graphic designer to help us create a new look for our resources that helps us to stand out more, to look different from the local authority and have a clearer identity. We asked parents to tell us which designs they liked.

“Some of the information you have is hard to understand and not really relevant to me.”

We’ve talked to lots of parents about the information they would like. Out of these discussions came information principles and a style guide to help us be more consistent and to produce information that meets the needs of parents and carers.

Information polices are being written alongside an information production guide which explains how we write and publish our resources.

New information reflects real life for parents, carers and young people and offers practical information and strategies.

We are working with our users to decide what information we need, what the content should be and whether it’s written and shared in the right way. We are writing a user involvement policy and creating different ways for parents to get involved in shaping our information.

Our new information booklets have been designed with parents. They have colour coded sections, small chunks of information and step by step guides. Parent quotes help to bring the text to life and information is easy to find and clearly written.

“I have literacy or language needs, which makes it hard to access information.”

Our website has Reachdeck – specialist accessibility software – which enables people with literacy difficulties, mild visual impairment and English as a second language to use it easily.

We have also introduced an accessibility option which is the blue box in the top right corner. When clicked this provides lots of options for people with visual impairment.

We have updated many of our information leaflets to make them more accessible and have an ongoing programme of review and update for our website and publications.

Please help us improve by giving feedback

We would love to hear your thoughts on how you feel we're doing...

Page created: January 2022
Page due for review: January 2024

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