Hackney to build prototype tool for ‘contextual’ approach to child safeguarding

Written by Sam Trendall on 5 April 2018 in News
News

London borough looks for supplier to help create platform for logging and analysing data on school, peer group, and neighbourhood

Hackney Town Hall, pictured here, is in the heart of the borough  Credit: David Giles/PA Archive/PA Images

Hackney Council is looking to engage potential suppliers of a tool that could allow the authority’s social workers to take a “contextual approach” to children’s safeguarding.

The east London borough is has received funding from the Department for Education to undertake a project examining how “peer group, neighbourhood, and school environments [affect] a young person’s safety and wellbeing”, and how better collating and understanding data on these contextual factors could help social workers. The team responsible for this project has completed an initial discovery phase, which led to the conclusion that a technological tool could help collect and contextualise this information.

The council has issued a contract notice via the government’s Digital Marketplace platform looking for a supplier to develop a prototype of such a tool. The authority expects to spend between £30,000 and £40,000 on a six-month project scheduled to begin early next month.


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Hackney’s social workers currently access data through case-management software application Mosaic.

“We do not use other non-personal data points to support social workers’ situational awareness,” the council said. “Whilst members of the community can report specific concerns about a young person, there is not a tool that captures low level incidents that may be indicators of contextual challenges.”

The project is being overseen by “a multi-agency board, led by the director of children’s services”. Work on the discovery phase was conducted by a team containing social workers, ICT professionals, and analysts.

The chosen supplier for this next phase will be advised by Hackney’s social workers and analysts, as well as senior-management figures from both the social care and ICT functions. The council is looking for a supplier willing to be present at the authority’s service centre in the borough “most of the time”.

Bids are open until 12 April.

 

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Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

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