Unproven IT could derail child protection plan

Government plans to introduce new tracking systems to monitor vulnerable children throughout their childhood could be undermined...

Government plans to introduce new tracking systems to monitor vulnerable children throughout their childhood could be undermined because of their reliance on unproven IT, according to MP Simon Hughes.

The Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman was commenting on plans to develop a new identification, tracking and referral system that would be based on the health service's Integrated Care Records Service, the electronic social care records system for local authorities and a proposed national police child protection IT system.

"The government is taking a big risk by pinning so much on the success of these IT projects," said Hughes.

"The people responsible for day to day child protection need effective case management systems. But to rely on a combination of expensive IT, some of which is still on the drawing board, is to multiply the risks both to children and to the exchequer."

His concerns are shared by David Johnstone, chairman of the research group at the Association of Directors of Social Services and director of social services at Devon County Council.

Documents obtained by Community Care magazine show the government's response to a series of inquiries into child abuse cases.

One of the key conclusions was that there is a need to bring together information held by various agencies so that it can be acted on. But this is dependent on other factors.

The ICRS is at the heart of the government's £2.3bn NHS modernisation plan, but it will be 2006 before the most basic service covers the whole of England and Wales and 2010 before a full system is in place.

Local authorities have been told that their own electronic social care systems will have to be developed on the back of the NHS ICRS.

MPs slam Home Office over lack of child protection IT >>

Read more on IT legislation and regulation

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

SearchCIO

SearchSecurity

SearchNetworking

SearchDataCenter

SearchDataManagement

Close