Socitm event to focus on multi-agency work

Professional development and the demands of the government's green paper to protect vulnerable children will be key issues at...

Professional development and the demands of the government's green paper to protect vulnerable children will be key issues at next week's annual conference of public sector IT managers' group Socitm, said its president Fahri Zihni, chief ICT officer at Wolverhampton Borough Council.

Earlier this month the government launched its green paper on making information more easily available across the public sector to help prevent child abuse and reduce crime against children. Zihni said that the technology implications would be keenly discussed by council IT managers at the conference in Birmingham.

"The police, courts, education, social services and the voluntary sector all need to be sharing information about vulnerable children, and there are legal and technology hurdles to jump, as well as the cultural change of working across boundaries," said Zihni. "We will get 100% commitment from local authorities and from other agencies."

Socitm will also launch its continuous professional development scheme at the conference, continuing the society's focus on training and raising the profile of local government IT.

Full and associate Socitm members taking part in the scheme will be awarded points for activities such as attending courses. They will also be able to prove that they are keeping up to date with the latest developments in both technology and local government.

Zihni said, "This will help them gain recognition as professionals - we're just as much professionals as accountants or lawyers."

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