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Text and email support introduced alongside “Sunshine” call cover during Special Guardians summer shakeup

19 July 2019

Text and email support has been introduced alongside “Sunshine” call cover during a summer shakeup of Family Action’s Special Guardianship Service.

Significant changes to our Special Guardians Support Service will expand the ways people can get in touch with us and ensure we can offer more comprehensive support, to local authorities and the Special Guardians they support. From August 1st the service is making two key modifications to how it operates, at no additional cost to the local authorities who are subscribed.

Firstly, text and email support will be implemented to expand the service’s scope thus, allowing those getting in touch, access via a wider variety of mediums – that they may also feel more comfortable using. In addition, the service will extend it’s hours of operation for our phone support to accommodate more people. Now open 10am until 2pm, Monday to Friday, in addition to the existing 6pm to 10pm slot.

The changes are designed to increase the service’s value for those using it – as statistics have shown that our call demand has grown in the daytime since the launch of the project in 2017. Although the service has previously operated an answerphone and call back service this change in hours – the first in the service’s history – will double the number of hours in which phones are manned and therefore lower the call response time.

“The move to text and email allows greater anonymity and may engage those who worry about talking to people one to one, or worry that judgments may be made”

Project Manager Neil Candlish, says that the move to text and email allows greater anonymity and may engage those who worry about talking to people one to one, or worry that judgments may be made. He added: “For me, these were the logical and obvious next steps in today’s society of fast-paced on the move communication, where most people have smartphones that are able to send text and email. These changes to the service mean people can get support on the go wherever they are and along with the change in hours, it gives Special Guardians the ability to contact our service at any time and in any way, it suits them better.”

The service already operates a daytime call service from 10am until 1pm, on Saturdays and Sundays and is currently working with staff to train them in the use of a new call handling platform, that should also help make calls more efficient and our support more useful.

Our Special Guardian’s Support Service is a subscription service for local authorities which provides specially crafted web materials and phone support to Special Guardians in their area. For more information regarding the Special Guardianship Support Service and details of how to subscribe please email Sgtechnical@family-action.org.uk or find out more about our service here