FACT – Frequently Asked Questions

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					                                                                                                                                 Best Achievement in
                                                                                                                                  Children’s Services

                                    FACT – Frequently Asked Questions
                                                                                The County Council has amalgamated the old Education
                     What is FACT?                                              Department and Social Services for Children into one
FACT - Northumberland Families and Children’s Trust is                          new Children’s Services Directorate. The Directorate
not an organisation or a grant making body, it is a way of                      also includes a child health manager.
enabling all sorts of different organisations to work
together to improve the wellbeing of all children, young                        Over 600 children and young people from all parts of the
people and their parents in Northumberland.                                     county and all sorts of backgrounds were part of a year
                                                                                long discussion about what the five outcomes meant to
                                                                                them, which were most important to get better and how
       Why has FACT been formed?                                                they would know the difference.
In 2003 the County Council and NHS in Northumberland
reviewed all services for children, young people and
families. The review concluded services for children,
young people and their parents could be more effective
if organisations worked together better. Workers in all                         In March 2006 FACT published a plan called ‘Having a
organisations especially the NHS strongly supported this                        life’ endorsed by all the organisations and Councils in
idea.                                                                           the county setting out over 70 things we need to do to
Since then the Government launched the ‘Every Child                             improve outcomes. There are copies of the plan in every
Matters’ programme which says organisations in every                            library and school or you can read it on the FACT
part of the country must work together more effectively                         webpage:
to improve outcomes for children and young people.
                                                                                            What else is in the plan?
               What is an outcome?                                              By 2010 every family should be in reach of a Children’s
An outcome is an improvement for the customer. The                              Centre offering a range of children’s activities,
Children Act 2004 is about improving the wellbeing of                           information for parents about childcare options, access
children and young people across five outcomes:                                 to other services such as advice about training courses.

                  Being healthy                                                All schools are being challenged to offer services for the
                                                                                whole community from 8 am to 6 pm every day including
                  Staying safe                                                 weekends and school holidays. Things like wraparound
                  Enjoying and achieving                                       childcare, study support, parenting support, access to
                  Making a positive contribution                               ICT, sports, arts and adult learning.
                  Achieving economic wellbeing                                 An ‘integrated team’ of health, social services and other
The objective of FACT is to improve the wellbeing of all                        professionals for each School Partnership (High School
children and young people in Northumberland across the                          and other schools in the same area) instead of lots of
five outcomes. Each outcome depends on different                                separate teams.
organisations working together, for example being
healthy is not just about doctors and the NHS, it is also                          How will we know the plan works?
about healthy eating in school and at home; active                              All the actions in the plan have a timescale, target or
lifestyles in the family, at school and in the community                        other measure; we will keep track of them all and publish
and having the confidence to make healthy choices as                            an annual progress report.
children grow up.
                                                                                Over 60 schools took part in a survey of 11,500
            So what is FACT doing?                                              Northumberland children and young people in April 2006
                                                                                to find out what they think about their wellbeing. We will
All the public sector organisations, County and District                        repeat the survey every year and report the differences.
Councils in Northumberland are committed to the FACT
way of working. Voluntary and Community Sector                                  There is also a survey of parents views which we also
Organisations and Schools have been part of                                     repeat annually. All the survey questions are in ‘Having
discussions about the FACT and broadly support it.                              a life’.

The FACTSHEET newsletter is produced fortnightly and distributed by email to all Northumberland Schools, GPs, District Councils, Jobcentre Plus staff,
   150 Voluntary Organisations and Community Groups; and staff in Social Services, Education Department, Connexions, Youth Offending Service,
                Substance Misuse Service, Care Trust and Mental Health Trust. Copies posted to Health Visitors and School Nurses.

      To receive a copy or contribute please contact: Jeremy Cripps, Head of FACT Partnership Development, County Hall, Morpeth, NE61 2EF
                                  Phone: 01670 533878, fax 01670 533882, email:

                           The address for the FACT webpage is:
         How is FACT organised?                                  Isn’t this all about children, what
FACT is actually a partnership of anyone that has a part                about young people?
to play in improving outcomes for children and young         Some people think ‘Every Child Matters’ is only about
people – parents, schools, GPs, voluntary organisations,     children. In Northumberland FACT is about all children
community groups, councils, the police as well as            and young people (up to at least 19 years of age) as well
children and young people themselves. All are                as their parents.
automatically part of the partnership.
                                                             Last year the Government published ‘Youth Matters’
FACT has two conferences a year open to all partners.        which is about improving outcomes for young people.
150 people came to the second one on 31 March 2006           Both Youth Matters and Every Child Matters are being
to launch ‘Having a life’.                                   taken forward by FACT.
FACT also holds series of workshops in each part of the
county when there are specific things to discuss such as                  What’s in it for me?
integrated teams.
                                                             If you are a child, young person or parent we want
FACT distributes a newsletter by email every fortnight. It   you to hold FACT accountable for the promises in
goes to about 1700 people and places to keep them            ‘Having a life’. You can do this in several ways:
informed and involved.
                                                                Read ‘Having a life’, find out what it says
The FACT webpage                 Subscribe to the fortnightly FACT newsletter
has lots of information and resources to help families
and young people access services, and professionals             Get involved in a local parent or young person group
work together more effectively.                                 Come to FACT conferences (advertised in the
            So who leads FACT?                                  Be a representative on the FACT Board
The FACT Board provides political leadership. It meets       If you are in a voluntary organisation or community
quarterly and consists of:                                   group we want you to be part of developing this new
                                                             relationship between public sector and VCS
Leader of the County Council (Chair)                         organisations to deliver improved outcomes for all
County Council Lead Member for Children                      children, young people and families. You can do this by:
Leaders of the County Council Opposition Groups
District Council Councillors (one from each)                    Reading ‘Having a life’, find out what it says
Chair of Northumberland Care Trust
                                                                Subscribe to the fortnightly FACT newsletter
Chair of the local Learning and Skills Council
Chair of Connexions Northumberland                              Get involved in the VCS network being facilitated by
Board member, Mental Health Trust                                Northumberland Children’s Fund
Representation from Voluntary and Community                     Come to FACT conferences (advertised in the
Organisations                                                    newsletter)
Diocesan Representation (Catholic & C of E schools)
                                                             If you work in a school we want you to be involved in
Representation from children and young people
                                                             developing ‘extended services’ offered by your school
Representation from parents
                                                             partnership. You can do this by:
The FACT Leadership Team provides professional
leadership. It meets monthly and consists of:                   Reading ‘Having a life’, find out what it says
                                                                Subscribe to the fortnightly FACT newsletter
Executive Director of Children’s Services
Director of Schools and Family Support                          Get involved in discussions about ‘extended
Director of Special Needs and Community Support                  services’ in your school partnership
Director of Planning and Resources                              Come to FACT conferences (advertised in the
Representative Headteacher                                       newsletter)
Care Trust Director
                                                             If you are a professional we want you to be involved in
Regional CAMHS Director
                                                             developing integrated services locally. You can do this
Chief Executive, Connexions Northumberland
Executive Director, Learning and Skills Council
Representation from Voluntary and Community                     Reading ‘Having a life’, find out what it says
Community Paediatrician (Clinical Lead)
                                                                Subscribe to the fortnightly FACT newsletter
                                                                Get involved in your local strategic partnership or
Minutes of FACT Board and Leadership Team minutes                discussions about ‘extended services and integrated
are on the FACT webpage. The main responsibility of              teams in your local school partnership
both committees is to ensure that the promises in               Come to FACT conferences (advertised in the
‘Having a life’ are delivered.                                   newsletter)

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