As part of our support for the Early Intervention Foundation National Conference, I had the opportunity to address delegates, including senior managers from across children and families services and the third sector. I know that there were many people who were unable to attend the conference and wanted to share my speech via our blog.
Early Intervention Foundation National Conference Speech
We’re really pleased to be able to continue our ongoing partnership with the Early Intervention Foundation by sponsoring this critically important event.
I’m looking forward to joining in today’s discussions about how we can together develop more innovative practices which deliver real outcomes for children.
Louise Casey’s work on Troubled Families has been an inspiration for all of us that work within children and families services. However with increasing strain on local authority resources, being able to capture and analyse the right data is central to helping you target resources where they’ll be most effective.
Using technology to support early intervention
We have developed tools that use information to help you rank against known risk factors by using basic data from schools, such as exclusions, absences, addresses and recent address moves. Whilst the majority of high risk children will be already known to the authority, these tools will help you identify those that are not “in the system” yet or just below the threshold. This process has already been successful in identifying potential NEETs or young adults likely to offend.
However at a recent Children and Young People Now roundtable debate, almost every director and assistant director of children’s services said that they found it difficult to deal with the children they already knew about. In fact a director of children’s services explained that her social care team spend on average 70% of their time in front of computers processing data and only 30% of time with children and families.
If the industry can provide solutions to increase the effectiveness of social workers we can, without additional resources, help many more families. That is something that we believe modern technology can deliver on.
Improving data sharing practices
Identifying risk factors is an important tool but being able to act on real-time information is of even greater importance, for example if a child is admitted to A&E.
However many local authorities have told us that information sharing remains a problem. We have had many discussions with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and they are keen to ensure that the data protection law is not a barrier and is used to benefit and protect children.
We want to work together with local authorities to remove these barriers.
The importance of early intervention
The beauty of early intervention is that not only does it help improve the lives of children, young people and families but it also makes economic sense.
I hope you find the conference valuable and I look forward to hearing your views on how technology can continue to support early intervention practices.
The conference provided a valuable opportunity to discuss the latest thoughts on improving early intervention. We’ll be discussing some of the key issues raised at the conference over the coming weeks in our blogs, subscribe to our monthly newsletter to get the latest updates.
I’d be interested on hearing your thoughts on the conference and how you think technology can help support early intervention. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.