Lead Organisation: BCUHB
The FACT Project
The Families Achieving Change Together (FACT) Project provides holistic support, advice and interventions to both the parents/carers and the child within the family on the neurodevelopmental waiting list. Adam’s parents shared their story about the support they received from the team.
“This little team is supporting me in ways I couldn’t of imagined”
At the end of last year we began a small pilot initiative called the Families Achieving Change Together (FACT) Project. The Project was funded as part of the North Wales East Area Transformation Programme to test a transformational initiative to address the substantial challenges faced across North Wales, with regard to access to assessment and support for children and young people on the neurodevelopment waiting list.
FACT was developed in partnership with Action For Children, Teulu Cyfan, Flintshire Council and BCUHB to work with 30 families across Flintshire and Wrexham for a period of 3 to 6 months.
The Project was designed to offer holistic support, advice and interventions to both the parents/carers and the child within the family. This support was provided by a partnership between BCU clinical professionals and Child and Parenting Experts in Action for Children and Teulu Cyfan. The Team worked closely with families, individually tailoring support to meet their needs, focusing on what matters most to them and has delivered some amazing results.
During the Project 93% of families engaged and 100% of families who took part in its evaluation gave positive feedback and reported positive outcomes as a result of the support they had received. We also saw significant reductions in the percentages of children who felt lonely, who felt angry and who couldn’t sleep. We also interviewed a number of professionals who worked with and on the project and again the response was overwhelming positive.
I think the biggest thing for me that stood out about the FACT Project was the people we worked with. Everyone in the project seemed to genuinely want to help and support us and understood through their own experience what we were going through. I can’t speak highly enough of them, they have really helped us
Since the FACT Project has started we have really noticed positive changes in Adam’s mood and behaviour. This seemed to have happened in what is actually a small amount of time. He has really loved his sessions with Cerys from Action for Children.
Cerys sent him a card the other day and it said believe in yourself. I cannot tell you what that meant to him. He was made up with it and keeps it safely on top of his wardrobe now.
One of the biggest things that he has done since the support started is he has written a small book, which has been published by the school. The fact that he had the confidence to be able to do this, is amazing and I don’t think he would have ever done it if he hadn’t had the support from Cerys.
Keeping to the FACTS
Learning through stories
As part of the evaluation of this Project we spent time with a number of families learning from their stories. We documented their journeys both before and after the support was put in place, in order to evidence any change.
From these stories, there is clear evidence that families with Neurodiverse children and young people need more support. So many families expressed their relief to have support in place and highlighted that they felt prior to the FACT Project they have had no support or don’t know where to access it.
We also found that many families felt that the key success factors of the FACT Project were due to its accessibility and the multiple expertise and understanding of the team offered to both the child and the parent.
Professionals echoed this perspective and felt the FACT project was a lifeline for many families and could prevent them from falling into crisis. I am really pleased to say that following the pilot Wrexham and Flintshire Local Authorities are working with BCUHB East Area Neurodevelopment Services to develop a sustainable long term model to support families with Neurodiverse children and young people based on the learning of the FACT Project.
I am also pleased to hear that there are a number of national and North Wales initiatives underway to try and reduce the waiting times for families on the Neurodevelopment assessment waiting list and solve this national issue, which impacts in so many families across Wales. Having worked within the partnership of the FACT Project I feel confident in saying that the Project has not only highlighted a clear need for support, but has also demonstrated what can be achieved when services work together in partnership, using their multiple expertise and experience for the benefit of families who need support.