Feeds

Civil servants' pro-Labour memo reignites child data controversy

Tories ask questions on civil service impartiality

Intelligent flash storage arrays

The memo in full

As posted by Ideal Government

CONTACTPOINT - UNIVERSAL SYSTEM VS SELECTIVE SYSTEM

The Conservatives propose to replace ContactPoint with a selective system covering only vulnerable children, such as those in care, on the child protection register or with backgrounds of domestic violence. This is similar to the approach being developed in Scotland – Getting it right for every child - and is more akin to what the electronic Common Assessment Framework (eCAF) and the Integrated Children's System (ICS) projects are seeking to achieve in England, than it is to ContactPoint.

ContactPoint has a different, wider purpose. It is, principally, about supporting early intervention for children who need additional services (30% at any one time and 50% during their lives) and is universal by design.

A 'universal' system recognises that children move in and out of the spectrum of need and that it is not possible to predict the need for, or timing of, additional services. It is much less stigmatising - no judgement is required about who should be included or not. With a selective system, such as that proposed by the Conservatives, practitioners may make decisions about the needs or vulnerability of a child in absence of all of the available information, because they can only contact and speak to practitioners they can identify and locate, rather than all those known to be working with the child.

Holding records only for children judged to be 'vulnerable' would require subjective judgments about whether the threshold for inclusion on the system had been met and, importantly, further judgments about when to remove records from the system. It is proportionate to hold a small amount of information on all children, rather than continually making threshold decisions about which children to put onto a system and which to take off.

Without ContactPoint, being able to identify and contact others working with the same child is a frustrating and time consuming process. Practitioners would much rather invest time in providing services to children, young people and families. A survey of nearly 3,000 said that, on average, practitioners need to make contact with other services 107 times a year, averaging 4 hours each time.

Universality: in the light of the case of Victoria Climbié Victoria’s Aunt was claiming child benefit and had registered Victoria with two GPs. On both counts, Victoria’s details would have been supplied to ContactPoint and so would have been available to authorised users, regardless of any cause for concern. Had ContactPoint existed, social workers who came into contact with Victoria and had looked up her details, would have found that she was known as a child living in England and was registered with a GP. She would also have been listed in a Children Missing Education report and her absence from education would have been followed up by her local authority. Consequently, she may have been placed in a school, where her condition would have been observed daily and a Common Assessment may have been undertaken as a result.

Victoria was not assessed, by those who saw her as a child with additional needs. It is questionable whether she would have appeared on a selective system of vulnerable children.

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.