ContactPoint may be cannibalised for parts
The data has been zapped, but the system and ETL routines may be useful...
ContactPoint may be dead, but the government could yet find a use for some parts of the old system when its new national signposting service finally surfaces, some time in the next couple of years.
That appears to be the general gist of a letter sent by Tim Loughton, Secretary of State for Education to Professor Eileen Munro, who is currently leading a review into issues surrounding child protection. The focus of this review, according to the Cabinet Office, is on how best to remove the barriers and bureaucracy which prevent social workers spending valuable time with vulnerable children.
Details of the letter, which was sent in November 2010, were released yesterday in response to a written parliamentary question by Tory MP Charlotte Leslie. The letter emphasises that any future system should restrict itself to holding details of children known to be at risk, most likely those who have been subject to a child protection plan or who have looked after by a public authority.
This is in direct contrast to the approach taken by the original ContactPoint scheme, which was criticised for being at the same time both too broad and too shallow: that is, it would have held contact details for any and every individual who had had contact with a child in some caring capacity (including not just social workers, but police and medical staff as well), but it would have included no details of the precise risks posed to individual children.
The new base would also need to have clear criteria for the removal of a child's details from the database.
The government has therefore asked Professor Munro to look at various key questions before submitting any recommendations. These include the needs of practitioners in respect of quickly identifying children; the full range of categories of child that should be included; new processes needed to work with a new ICT system; and, crucially, any impact such a system might have on existing professional practice.
Finally, the minister asked Professor Munro to look at the cost-effectiveness of such a system.
This approach, together with a series of small-scale pilots in local authorities and hospital accident and emergency departments, and a stepped evaluation of individual data sources that may be included in the new system, suggest a much more softly-softly approach than before.
The letter also makes clear that "there will be no fixed assumption that ContactPoint assets should be re-used": in other words, the government might, or it might not.
Since the data in the old ContactPoint system has now supposedly been put beyond all possibility of recovery, the main assets remaining are the system structure, and any ETL routines relating to existing systems.
Professor Munro responded by expressing her support for such an approach. She gave her commitment to meeting already agreed deadlines, including an interim report by the end of January and a final report, with substantive recommendations, by April 2011. ®
"the needs of practitioners in respect of quickly identifying children"
They're usually the shorter ones.
bet your bottom dollar
that whoever they define to be the target for this system, it will always exclude MPs and their children, as it did last time.
The way they go on you'd think that children were dying in the streets. Yes, some children have suffered horrible deaths, some of them at the hands of other children.
And you know why? Because some people are psychopaths. Do you know who is really good at lying to the authorities? Psychopaths. Do you know who would be the first to put themselves on the database? Psychopaths...
Psychopaths are scary because they do things so reprehensible that it is essentially impossible to ever issue them with adequate punishment and it is essentially impossible to ever spot them before they attack.
So with that in mind, can we please just chill out and not worry about it? This state of artificial panic will put more lives at risk than the psychopaths.
I "might" die at the hands of a psychopath tonight. Should I be scared? Should you? No of course not.
lessons from scotland
Don't be distracted. This is not about "children known to be at risk" or children for that matter...
Surveillance in the guise of child protection scam explained here:
Every Child Matters (ECM) and Getting it right for every child (Girfec) are all but identical which is not surprising as systems are intended to be interoperable nationally and EU wide:
eCare provides is a federated system of databases: health, education, police, social work, the voluntary sector, housing etc etc...which provides "a single view of the citizen".
Please google that phrase.
Corelogic is one of the companies (there are a few, Visionware is another)providing eCare solutions in Scotland (only available as a cache now).
http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/s … =firefox-a
Here are their customers:
They are selling their latest version as supporting the Munro review:
The latest sales pitch being used to promote the e-government surveillance agenda North and South of the border is early intervention:
Read this from Monday:
"The authors believe such a concept - in which babies enter Year One at birth - would ensure parents understand the 'health and education cycle' starts when the child is born, not when they start school."
The Scottish surveillance scandal - I don't think that is too strong a word - has recently been exposed in a most eloquent manner by Kenneth Roy , an old school investigative journalist with his own online publication. I have posted all the recent coveragge on this discussion thread. Please take the time to read - it really is of relevance SOTB