The award win highlights the close partnership between the Suffolk Family Information Service (FIS), and the Community Information Team (CIT), based within Public Health. In close collaboration, the two services adapted Suffolk’s online Community Services Directory, Suffolk infoLink, to meet the public’s rapidly changing needs during the Covid 19 pandemic.
These developments supported Suffolk’s Track and Trace, Home But Not Alone and the Suffolk Advice and Support Service, enabled key workers to find childcare and provided easy to use access essential information on financial help and food banks. The 7000 live community organisation records held on infoLink allowed the CIT team to communicate essential information quickly with hundreds of sector partners including early years/childcare providers and the VCSE sector.
The National Association of Family Information Services is the only national membership organisation supporting local authorities to deliver high quality information and advice to families.
Parents associated with Coram Family and Childcare’s Parent Champions Programme judged the awards this year. The Parent Champions judging panel said: “Suffolk FIS added a new free text field to display Coronavirus information which each provider could then adapt their online record so that any changes in services due to the pandemic would appear at the top of their webpage. The new filters added to the website allows providers to target people based on their need. The filtered list has grown to over 400 services providing specific support during the pandemic. It is searchable by area, and easily accessible from the fixed ‘Coronavirus Information’ banner on each page of this FIS’ page.”
Feedback from front end users of the Infolink service has been equally positive: