We heve created a communications manifesto to help ensure that all of the families we support recieve timely and relevant information about our services, through multiple communications channels. At the core of this manifesto are a number of key principles.
How we communicate with families
We commits to providing direct access to information, so that families can choose to request support and services relevant to their needs.
We commits to being open and transparent, through active communication about key services.
We commit to communicating via multiple channels, so that the differing needs of families are met.
We will endeavour to ensure that both parents can opt to receive communication from Shooting Star Children’s Hospices.
We can include nominated external professionals in communications about service provision, so that they can support families in understanding and accessing services.
We will proactively translate key printed documents and provide these accordingly for families. We are aware that digital communication is easier for families to translate using online systems.
We will inform families of how they might be able to request and access urgent respite care that is funded charitably, sharing the process and assessment criteria used to prioritise need when requested.
We will be transparent about the cost and process for respite that is part-funded by local authorities, and reliant on the child’s local authority’s assessment of their needs.
We commit to encouraging communication between families, through the provision of closed groups on social media and groups/events that are optional to join.
We commit to asking children and family members to review a sample of communication materials.
We commit to providing opportunities for all children, young people and family members to feed back on their experiences of communication by Shooting Star Children’s Hospices.
We will endeavour to explore new and innovative ways of communicating with families.
Channels of Communication
- Key principles
- Printed materials
- Private Groups
We use multiple channels of communication to provide information and key communication. Where possible we aim to use these in a consistent way so families know which channels they should expect to receive communications about different services through.
Text messages are used to inform families of key service updates and to provide short alerts about opportunities/events. Text messages will not be not used for marketing purposes.
All supported and bereaved families are asked to provide at least one parent’s mobile number for this key service information. A family can choose to provide multiple mobile numbers to which these Text messages are sent. If we hold a parent’s mobile number but they do not wish this to be used for alerts, the word ‘DO NOT TEXT’ will be recorded on our Care Database.
In circumstances where parents have additional needs, it is possible to nominate an external professional to also receive text messages. For example, this may include a local authority Family Support Worker or Social Worker.
Text messages will start once a family’s initial assessment is complete.
Text messages will be temporarily stopped when a child dies. During the 30 days following the death, a member of the Family Support Team will inform the family that Text messages will resume 30 days after the child’s death, unless they would like them paused for longer. Before Text messages recommence, the Named Team Member will be responsible for ensuring the family receive relevant and key information.
A record of scheduled Text messages will be overseen by the Events Officer and Head of Family Support Service, with care taken to manage frequency.
A family’s email address is requested/confirmed at their Initial Assessment.
Both parents can be invited opt in to receive email correspondence. This is discussed and documented at a family’s Initial Assessment. If a parent does not wish their email address to be used for correspondence, it should not be listed on our Care Database. In circumstances where parents have additional needs, it is possible to nominate an external professional to receive copies of an email in order that they can support families to access services described. For example, this may include a local authority Family Support Worker or Social Worker.
For some services booked through our website, such as Hydrotherapy splash sessions, parents can choose to create an account on our website with their email to make future bookings easier. This is a separate system to the care database and with only be used for correspondance/alerts about booked sessions.
Predominantly, we aim to use email to send individualised letters to families about respite bookings, and appointments. Historically, some families have opted for printed letters that are sent in the post rather than email.
As well as post being slower, we know that it is more difficult for families to translate printed materials (including letters) themselves. It is easier for families to translate text and email using services such as ‘google translate’. For this reason we avoid sending printed letters where possible.
Some of our materials are published as printed leaflet, such as our Bereavement Pack. These materials are also available online. Families can request translations of any printed materials that we publish.
Where printed materials are supplied on our website or via email, we aim to provide them in PDF format.
Our website holds current information about services available to families. A Care Communications Taskforce meet monthly to review content.
Information about services is located on the Support Hub and Bereavement Support Hub. This details how a family can request/access or self-refer to a service.
The websote allows families to access information about our services 24 hours a day.
Private Facebook Groups
Families can choose to join our Supported Parents’ Facebook Group and/or the Bereaved Parents’ Facebook Group. Families are made aware of these groups via the Support Hubs on the website and text alerts about service provision.
These groups are closed. While links are avialable to join, members must request to join and be approved by a Shooting Star Children’s Hospices admin before they can view group content and interact with other members. Members of the Support Parents’ Facebook Group are supported parents and those in the first three years post-bereavement. Members of the Bereaved Parents’ Facebook group can continue to be part of the group following the three year anniversary after their child’s death.
Information and reminders about services, groups and events and family surveys are posted in the private Facebook groups, often with photos, videos and illustrations.
The individual referring a family to us is asked if the family require an interpreter. This is recorded on the Care Database and appear in the front screen ‘alerts’. Further details of how this is put in place for all conversations with families can be found in our Language Interpreting SOP
We will strive to achieve the principles and processes outlined above and will work hard to identify shortfalls and areas for improvement.