Family Services Directory(FSD) - April 2010
This on-line directory will be a free resource for families and professionals to use to search for information and contact details of services and agencies across Kent, either on-line or via the Children & Families Information Service which operates a telephone support line 9-5, Monday to Friday.
The FSD was created in line with the statutory requirement by the Department of Children, Schools and Families for all Local Authorities to provide an on-line directory of services, organisations and agencies, private, voluntary and public that provide a service for families. It is anticipated that professionals, such as Teachers, Social Workers and Health staff will also use the directory to support the families they work with.
In KCC the Enhanced Childcare Directory (ECD) is already established and running with a 24 hr feed from OfSTED and feeding that information directly up to the Nationally Aggregated Family Information Directory. Since January 2010 work has been taking place to build the Family Services Directory that will sit along side the ECD and feed data locally to our own local directory and up to the National Directory.
Progress so far has been steady, but is hampered slightly with ongoing development of the Internet Update Service and System Data Import Tool, but ongoing work is in hand to achieve this.
In the meantime organisations are being contacted and informed of the FSD and encouraged to provide their data to be held on the system.
To date the FSD holds information on all of the libraries in Kent with all consent and tagging completed; work is now underway to provide a direct link with libraries community groups, activities and events data for families that historically have been advertised through libraries.
Links have been made with the Parent Forums across KCC and workshops are being organised for each LCSP to present the FSD, and to enable participants at the event to upload their data onto the system. The first event takes place on the 28th April in Gravesham.
The Children’s Centres have been tagged and added to the system, so far consent forms have been received for 50 centres and these are being uploaded to the FIDy now.
Links have been made with the Extended Schools Coordinators and two workshops are being arranged, one for the ESCO’s so they have an understanding of the FSD and one (and possibly more) with the private providers of extended services for schools so that they sign up to and have their data on the directory.
Links have been made with the Disabled Children’s Service, who had commissioned through a separate pot of money for five directories to be produced detailing all of the services available for families of disabled children across KCC. These directories have now been checked and condensed into one spreadsheet, and subsequently added to the system. Consent is being obtained from the organisations and arrangements are in place to support them to “tag” their headings for searches and then they will be added to the directory.
Good links have been established with Youth, in particular the ToGoGo site which was the partner of the old KRD and there are plans for the information held on that to feed directly into the FSD, including information on positive activities. This may potentially lead to the Positive activities team using our own system.
An NHS Choices data feed will be utilised using an API to syndicate all health related data to our directory – this encompasses GP’s / A&E / Hospitals / Dentists / Chemists / Opticians as well as a range of other health services; this information is taken from a maintained data system with a online update facility.
Work has been undertaken to provide a link with the 14-19 prospectus and this has highlighted further work to be done nationally with integration of 2 vocabularies maintained by the DCSF.
Most recently, there has been an audit of the Voluntary and Community Sector Organisations working with Young People aged 14-19 years commissioned, with Kent Children’s Fund winning the tender across East, West and Mid Kent, and we will be working closely with them to ensure the organisations/services they uncover are recorded and detailed using the FSD data structures.
Parent Know How Directory(PKHD) - Update December 2009
CFE will pull out of the information system which currently runs the http://www.togogo.info site for Kent Youth Service and the http://www.krd.org.uk (Kent Resource Directory or KRD) before the end of the year.
Our funding ran out in March 2009 and the directorate has been unable to maintain the contents of the database. A new set of government requirements have now superceded this target.
The DCSF want us to feed information to the national Parent Know How Directory (PKHD) via an automatic upload from our local databases to the http://www.Direct.gov.uk web for countrywide information about local childcare and parent/family services, as illustrated in the diagram below.
One source of the local data is our Enhanced Childcare Directory (ECD) provided by Ofsted and delivered in Kent via the Children & Families Information Service (CFIS). The other source should be information about services for families (some LAs call it the Family Services Directory or the FSD but in Kent it is the KRD) for practitioners, parents/carers and young people.
The system solution was procured this year from Tribal to provide the ECD and it has the capability to provide the FSD element as well from the one database. We will withdraw KRD as soon as possible.
The ECD was meant to be live from 7 September 2009 with the second component of the FSD to be available from 31 December 2009. We are currently finalising terms and conditions with DCSF and Tribal and having discussions with CFE teams about the new plans.
This contract runs until 2012 giving us a pathway to provide the required information to DCSF more simply. The system is in use by a number of other local authorities which should mean it will be upgraded and supported by its suppliers as both DCSF/LA needs to develop. The Kent Youth Service (Positive activities (PAYP) data currently in http://www.togogo.info is also important to our customers and practitioners so we hope to manage a convergence of this data too, in time for our contract renewal.
There is a Flash presentation to show what DCSF think parents should be able to find in the directory.