Agenda item

FACT (Families and Children's Transformation) programme

To receive an update on the FACT programme, including how it will be monitoring the implementation of its key objectives over the next 12-18 months.


The Families and Children’s Transformation (FACT) Programme Lead explained that they were a multi-agency initiative focusing on the principles of early intervention and prevention.  He introduced a report on their key priorities, as well as the governance and systems in place for monitoring and reporting on their projects. He outlined the three key projects they were currently working on namely, Early Support Assessment, Transitional Safeguarding and Family Help, including further detail about the timeline for the delivery of these projects, as shown in paragraph 48 of the report.


The programme leader elaborated on the goals of the Family Help project, including joining up services to improve the consistency between different agencies and making a central database of information for the public. He noted that they would report at the end of March 2023 to review whether the changes made had improved outcomes. He explained that as part of this project a pilot study was being run in Warminster and Westbury, to explore a local delivery model where local groups would work closely with Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAHMS) to coordinate services.


During the discussion key points included:


• Members thanked the programme lead for the report and stated that they admired the ambition of the project to improve practice, systems, and culture.

• The governance of the FACT programme included a multi-agency operational board, which the chair of the Children and Families Voluntary Sector Forum sat on, to ensure that local groups were involved in the delivery of the services.

• The committee emphasised the value of working directly with local groups such as town and parish councils, the Wiltshire Community Foundation and Community First.

• The members of Warminster and Westbury Area Boards present at the meeting highlighted that they would welcome close engagement with the pilot study in their areas. They stressed the importance of working with local youth clubs and considering transportation issues in rural areas. The chairman of Warminster Area Board also invited representatives from the project to attend one of their meetings.

• The project lead noted that they had looked for examples of good practice in other local authority (LA) areas and that most came from urban conurbations. They had been working closely with Research in Practice, a national charity that had put them in touch with useful contacts.

• Oxford Brookes University would assist with the evaluation and monitoring of the Family Help project and would play a role in establishing short term performance indicators.

• Members noted that they would like the opportunity to review an interim report on the indicators in advance of the publication of final report on the Family Help programme in 2024.

• In response to a question about how it would be ensured that a central online directory for the public would be kept up to date, the project lead explained that Wessex Community Action’s Wiltshire Together platform would be used, and that funding was in place for its development and maintenance. The site would allow organisations to advertise their events and opportunities. Online workshops would also be set up to inform groups how to revise information and reminders would be sent to check that information was being updated.

• The project lead stressed that anyone working with children and young people would be able to access the website. The Director of Family and Children’s Services reported that the ambition was that none of the partners within FACT would be replicating information on each other’s websites, other than third party sites or where it was a statutory requirement.

• The Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Children’s Services Education and Skills highlighted that the Wiltshire Learning Alliance would play a role in spreading the good practice learnt from the project throughout schools.





1. To thank the programme leader and director for the report and note the update provided.

2. To invite officers, as part of their stakeholder events, to engage with local members, relevant Area Boards, and town councils to share information about the pilot project in Westbury and Warminster.

3. For FACT to liaise with the different groups in Westbury and Warminster, funded by Wiltshire Community Foundation and Community First, that support children and young people.

4. To invite officers to consider a mechanism where signposting to other services is led centrally and kept regularly updated.

5. To receive a further update in a year’s time including on the progress towards the key milestones identified in paragraph 48 of the report.

6. To receive a report on the outcome of the Family Help Programme, including the Westbury and Warminster pilot project, by September 2024.

7. To receive an interim report as soon after March 2023 as practical to review the data set that has been created and how the Family Help programme was being implemented.

Supporting documents: