You said, we did

We are always trying to improve our service to ensure our families are getting the support they want and need. One way we do this is by capturing feedback from the people who use our services.

We collect feedback in several ways using postal questionnaires, telephone interviews, internet surveys and questionnaires following training events.

If you want to give us feedback about our service at any time you can complete our online survey. You can also contact us directly if you have more detailed comments to make. We have a comments, compliments and complaints policy too.

If you have comments to make about our information, publications or the content of the website, you can email us directly at

How are we doing?

On the whole, our users are happy with the service they get from us. 92% of users said that they are satisfied or very satisfied with the service they receive. 94% of respondents are likely or highly likely to recommend our service to others.

People who commented positively about the service said:

  • I’ve done everything on my own but this [DiAS] made me feel stronger and more confident and not so undermined
  • I could not have sorted out my situation without your help and support
  • [DiAS] helped me focus on the important issues that would help me get my son the education he needs and has a right to
  • This service was amazing I learn so much from one phone call
  • Really helpful and made me feel a lot less stressed when I didn’t know which way to turn
  • Parents need help. The only place they will get good advice is DiAS. Fact.
  • It just felt really great to have a knowledgeable voice on our side.
  • From the initial communication to the meeting the team were very knowledgeable and supportive. 

When we have comments that are less positive, we analyse the feedback and look again at the support we give to see whether we could do something more or do it differently. We regularly reflect on our practice to make sure we give the best service we can.

Below, you can see the feedback we have had and see what we did in response.

The service offered is fine, however trying to get hold of DIAS can sometimes be challenging

We increased the capacity of our enquiry line staff, so that enquiries can be dealt with as quickly as possible.

Callers can leave messages on our answering machine outside the hours of the enquiry line opening hours. We call back as soon as possible – almost always within a working day.

We are exploring other ways for people to enquire and get information, such as by text, live chat, drop in sessions and more and better resources online. This includes talking to other services like ours to find out what they do.

An enquiry form has been developed for the website so that people who need support can be referred to the right person straightaway.

Staff are extremely well trained but unfortunately too busy to support us at meetings

We increased the number of volunteers in the service to help support those families who need face to face meeting support.

We trained volunteers in meeting support and some in higherlevel support such as mediation and tribunals.

We developed our offer of pre-meeting support. This helped families to feel better equipped and confident to attend meetings alone where we are unable to support them face to face.

We produced a range of new information and materials for parents and carers to help with meetings. This is available on our website.

It took time for a DiAS Officer to call me back

We have increased the number of casework officer we have and now have two part-time officers in each of four areas of the county (8 officers in total).

Our enquiry line staff give support and information when someone first contacts the service, so no family is waiting for support. If an enquirer needs more support this will come from a conversation with a casework officer.

Families are signposted to other organisations and resources by the enquiry line staff. This is sometimes all an enquirer needs, but if not, it means a parent or carer has information to read and use before a call from a casework officer.

We changed our working practices so that no family is waiting too long for a call back.

At peak periods when the service is at its busiest, we explain how long a parent or carer may be waiting for a casework officer to contact them.

At certain times of year, such as transition or exam time, we publish specific information on social media and our website to help families get specific information more quickly.

I’m not sure who you are and whether you’re part of Devon County Council

Every Information, Advice and Support Service, like DiAS, is funded by a Local Authority but has to make sure that they work in a way that is “arms length” from them. We make our decisions about running the service and have our own website. We have a Reference Group which includes parents and they help up to check that we are impartial. We also gather themes and trends from our work and use this to tell Devon County Council and others what is and isn’t working for the people we support.

Parents have told us they know us as DiAS, rather than Devon Information Advice and Support. They also told us they didn’t understand why there was a boat in our logo. Based on this feedback we have created a new logo which says more clearly who we are. The boat will be no more.

We commissioned a graphic designer to help us create a new look for our resources that helps us to stand out more, to look different from the local authority and have a clearer identity. We asked parents to tell us which designs they liked.


Your support was very helpful, but it was unsuccessful because of difficulties getting support in school

We offer training to professionals about improving conversations and meeting outcomes with parents. These are held in schools and children’s centres across Devon.

We offer training to parents across Devon about how to improve relationships and meetings with schools.

We focus on conversations with parents about how to improve outcomes from school meetings. We created a meeting form to help them prepare well for meetings to achieve better results.

We improved our information and resources, so that families know what they can ask for.

We have increased our volunteer numbers so that more meeting support is available.

Some of the information you have is hard to understand and not really relevant for me

We’ve talked to lots of parents about the information they would like. Out of these discussions came information principles and a style guide to help us be more consistent and to produce information that meets the needs of parents and carers.

Information polices are being written alongside an information production guide which explains how we write and publish our resources.

New information reflects real life for parents, carers and young people and offers practical information and strategies.

We are working with our users to decide what information we need, what the content should be and whether it’s written and shared in the right way. We are writing a user involvement policy and creating different ways for parents to get involved in shaping our information.

Our new information booklets have been designed with parents. They have colour coded sections, small chunks of information and step by step guides. Parent quotes help to bring the text to life and information is easy to find and clearly written.

I have literacy or language needs, which makes it hard to access information

Our website has Browsealoud – specialist accessibility software – which enables people with literacy difficulties, mild visual impairment and English as a second language to use it easily.

We have updated many of our information leaflets to make them more accessible and have an ongoing programme of review and update for our website and publications.

I don’t have a computer, so I use my phone to access information

We have made our website mobile and device compatible.

We have increased the use of social media to disseminate information and are exploring a live chat option.

There aren't many services in my area

In rural areas, where families feel less supported, we network with other professionals, make links with local teams and go to local events to help improve support.

An email summary after the phone call with links would be helpful

We created subject specific email templates with relevant links to ensure that all families were getting the same level of support at the enquiry stage.

DiAS officers now email families after the call to summarise the support given. 

Share this:

Page last update: November 2020 Page due for review: November 2021