In 2018, Stockport Council’s Family Context project was awarded funding through the Local Digital Fund to apply data and digital solutions to help ensure young people are safeguarded and fewer end up in care.
The project explored how providing social workers with more complete and contextual information could lead to better decision-making and reduced time spent on finding information for cases.
During the alpha phase, the project team identified datasets and requirements and a working prototype was developed in collaboration with social workers. Following Continuous Funding and COVID-19 delays, they began a beta phase that saw the team run a successful pilot of the tool with positive feedback from social workers. The tool reduced the time spent searching for information from 2–3 hours to just 20 minutes on average.
Following the evaluation, the tool was rolled out to Stockport social workers, to be utilised by various teams in social work, child protection, and support services. Regular feedback enabled the project team to implement continuous improvements and this led to additional data sets being added, such as education, health, and youth offending services.
The Family Context project not only improved the social work assessment processes but also highlighted the importance of data quality in digital transformation. It has showcased what’s possible with data sharing and partnerships.
You can hear more about Family Context from members of the project team in the video case study below. If your local authority has similar needs and would like to see whether Family Context could help address your shared challenges, visit the Family Context toolkit.
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