Local authorities are being challenged in terms of the economic climate and the need to be innovative with their services. Children’s Centres managed by local authorities are under threat of closure. This project for Worcestershire County Council shows such innovation.
Aidem Digital CIC in partnership with My Time CIC was commissioned to help produce an online solution to address specific aspects of Children’s Centre queries. Including Domestic Abuse, Post-Natal Depression and addressing popular questions asked by parents in relation to young children.
Worcestershire currently has 34 Sure Start Children’s Centres which offer a range of services for parents/carers with children aged 0–4 years and parents to be. Worcestershire County Council provides support via its Family Information Service (FIS) and Parent Partnership Service (PPS).
However, access to services can sometimes be difficult for children, young people and families living in rural areas of Worcestershire which impacts most heavily on low-income families. Thus, leading onto the requirement to provide a 24×7 on-line children’s services.
The objective of the pilot project was to develop a Children’s Centre Online service to guide parents/carers to the most appropriate service for their needs with specific signposting to local and national services.
The requirement was to focus on developing the website for domestic abuse, post-natal depression using specifically developed algorithms with psychological expertise, and questions frequently asked by parents on ‘light-touch’ issues.
The website needed to provide easy access and exit (in case of domestic abuse) and integrate with the existing Worcestershire County Council website.
The solution consisted of three modules which were designed and developed for the pilot website:
Relationship Safety – for potential sufferers of domestic abuse
Feeling Blue After Having a Baby – for post-natal depression
Frequently Asked Parenting Questions – FAQ’s for ‘light-touch’ issues for young children
My Time psychologists produced the algorithms for the first two modules and the FAQ’s were compiled using My Time expertise of family and children work.
The algorithms and FAQ’s were then translated into a website design which took into account accessibility, usability and the ability to store usage data for Worcestershire County Council. Original and subtle drawing illustrations were produced by Aidem Digital as part of the solution.
Worcestershire County Council were very pleased with the pilot website and it has given them the start-point for future projects. Feedback from parents, carers and agencies who work with the council was very positive and supportive of the solution.
Project Leader, Cath Ellicot from Worcestershire County Council said:
Aidem Digital have provided the required technical support for our Children’s Centre Online website and have proven to be flexible, responsive and diligent.
The website provides an excellent example of Aidem Digital’s technical capabilities to produce a solution for a specific problem.
It shows that Aidem Digital can work collaboratively with another specialist organisation like My Time CIC to jointly develop an online solution which aims to meet the needs of the user and the client.
This solution is available to other organisations such as Children’s Centres and Local Authorities interested in deploying a similar on-line service. It is flexible and can be readily adapted.
If you are interested in seeing the solution and discussing how it can address your requirement, please get in touch via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Worcestershire County Council
Produce a pilot project with psychological input and support from My Time CIC for a Virtual Children's Centre.
To provide three modules for Domestic Abuse, Post-natal Depression and Parenting FAQ's, addressing the needs of the user to be signposted to local and national services to help them, depending on their responses to questions.