How a joined-up approach can stop children falling through the gaps

As we continue to navigate the impact of the pandemic, integrated systems have an even more vital role to play in ensuring children and families in need don’t fall through the gaps, says David McKinney, Managing Director, Servelec Local Government.

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Research recently carried out by the Children’s Society has found that one in five children in the UK – the equivalent of 1.1m – have reported being unhappy with their lives as a whole during lock-down.

The Children’s Commissioner has also revealed the number of teenagers in England falling through the gaps in education and social care systems before the pandemic, and has stressed the need to focus resources on at-risk teenagers.

The report said that the DfE, schools, local authorities and police forces need to work together on a plan to identify, track, support and ultimately re-engage children.

 

Creating safeguarding partnerships through tech

Technology providers also play an important role in helping to create strong safeguarding partnerships. Since the start of the outbreak, the need for interoperable systems in the public sector has become even more obvious, especially when it comes to safeguarding young people and their families.

Whether its health and social care, youth services or education, our public sector needs that all-important joined-up view of each child, in order to decide and action the most appropriate care and support for them.

We understand just how important it is that education, social care and youth services providers can quickly and easily access up-to-date case details so they have a full picture. Access to shared information means that public sector teams spend less time chasing the necessary information they need, and more time with those who need care and support.

Through our interoperability platform Conexes, we can securely share information held in multiple systems, giving care professionals a better view of a person’s needs, and helping to facilitate better outcomes across health, social care, education and youth services.

 

Securely sharing information across multiple systems

The Children’s Commissioner report assesses the number of teenagers in England, and in each local area, who were already vulnerable and falling through gaps in the education and social care systems before Covid-19. Those previously at risk are now in even more danger, as problems have been exacerbated by the closures of schools and youth services, adding to the increased strain on vulnerable families.

We all know that technology can streamline processes, but having a clear view of a child’s needs, and their family’s/support networks, will always make for better, faster, more accurate and appropriate decision-making.

Sharing information quickly and securely, the Mosaic Portal helps to prevent those most vulnerable from falling through the gaps. It’s a system that supports multi-agency working; enabling the citizen, professional and the service provider to work together, and ultimately helping to put the individual in charge of their own decision making.

While most regular activity continues virtually, social workers still need to conduct home visits and assessments for the most vulnerable. Mosaic Mobilise allows practitioners to access and update key information at the point of care. It minimises unnecessary travel as social workers can complete work steps and update records wherever they are.

We’ve already seen technology play a crucial role in delivering vital and day-to-day services to the public during the pandemic, and with the work of education, youth services, social care and healthcare teams intertwined, interoperability between IT systems may be about to take some significant steps forward.

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