Hounslow Council's Family Services Directory has been identified by SOCiTMs Better Connected research programme as one of the UK’s top council websites.
Published: Monday, 11th June 2018
Hounslow Council's Family Services Directory has been identified by SOCiTMs Better Connected research programme as one of the UK’s top council websites, following a series of surveys of their performance from a customer perspective carried out over the last six months.
The Council has been awarded the 'four-star' status rating for information, advice and guidance for families finding childcare.
The annual survey by the public-sector IT organisation assesses local authority websites for their accessibility and quality of information on a range of topics.
For childcare services, just 15 per cent of the sites tested across Scotland, England and Wales were found to be very good, with 37 per cent good, 38 per cent unsatisfactory and 10 per cent poor.
In addition, only twenty council sites, which include Hounslow’s online Family Services Directory, were recommended to other Local Authorities as meeting good guideline standards in terms of navigation and content.
SOCiTMs Better Connected surveys explore the ability of websites to provide quick and easy ‘customer journeys’ and successful resolution of a series of top tasks. ‘Top tasks’ may be informational (for example: find out about childcare) or transactional (for example: paying a fine). Based on scores given across a number of tests and customer journeys, an overall rating score is assigned to each local authority.
Councillor Tom Bruce, Cabinet Member for Education, Children & Youth Services, Hounslow Council said:
“The hard work of everyone who works on the directory has been recognised and rewarded and we are very proud that Hounslow Council’s Family Services Directory has been awarded a four star rating as an example of best practice in providing public information and services to parents and carers of young people and children.
“Providing information and services digitally is a crucial part of any modern local authority’s work and it is encouraging to hear that we are performing up there with the elite.
“As a parent myself I have found the FIS website personally really helpful, it contains a wealth of useful material that anyone involved with raising a family would find useful.”
The Hounslow Family Services Directory, also known as the FSD, is a free, impartial information service for parents and carers of children and young people aged up to 19 (up to 25 years for those with additional needs).
The directory provides a wide range of information about key services and activities from which parents and children can benefit both through the telephone helpline 020 8583 3470 and through the Hounslow Family Services Directory.
Information is accessible from every point in the customer journey by integrating web pages to well-placed links to third party sources as GOV.UK who provide in depth information on eligibility and funding. The FSD also host online forms for applying for free childcare for two-year-old’s and link to simple eligibility checkers to help parents establish their status in a quick and user friendly way.
One reviewer commented: “Excellent journey, well done - all information found easily