Care staff identify data sharing and software challenges

Achieving efficient data sharing between multi-agency teams is the biggest technical issue facing children’s care, according to a new survey.

Supplier Capita One found that 84% of respondents identified the issue of data flows between different teams as a challenge.

In addition 64% said that bringing information about children and families from health teams into their authorities was another key issue.

Phil Neal, managing director of Capita One, said: “It seems clear barriers exist that are preventing the efficient transfer of information on children and families between teams. It is important that these barriers are identified and removed to ensure that vulnerable children and families get the help they need as soon as possible.”

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The survey found that 54% of staff are using more than one software system to monitor early help initiatives, while 36% are still using a mixture of software systems and paper. Only 16% had a single software solution in place for the task.

Neal said: “It is vital that authorised staff are able to access the information they need to see a fuller picture of the issues affecting vulnerable people in their area and monitor the success of their early help programmes.”

The survey also explored some of the challenges faced by local authorities in targeting services at particular groups in their area.

More than half (56%) said they found it difficult or very difficult to identify troubled families, with 47% saying it was difficult to identify teenage parents. A further 29% said the same for young people not in education, employment or training, with 20% for young offenders.

Neal said: “Early help is the essential golden thread in the planning and delivery of services for children and families. Authorities want to ensure precious resources are invested where they will have the greatest impact on improving lives – but the vital first step is knowing who it is that is in need.”

Colin Marrs

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