Rethinking children’s social care

Rethinking children’s social care

Allowing children and families to better manage their own social care journeys

Client:
Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster
Category:
Children's Services
Length:
Discovery Phase: 9 months

Allowing children and families to better manage their own social care journeys

FutureGov has been working with Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster for the past year to explore how technology for children’s social care could be radically re-designed. The three authorities are considered to be some of the best in the UK, but felt like their ambition and practice was being held back by out of date technology. Technology in the social care market isn’t necessarily transparent, modern, cloud-based or user-centred - we have begun to design those problems out.

We discovered that frontline practitioners were spending up to 70% of their week design-led a computer, writing up notes, recording vital information and creating recommendations. Whilst these are essential tasks in social work, we felt that it seemed that social workers had little time to spend with families and young people, assessing and managing risk and helping to create a pathway forward. Building from previous experience from the Family and Children’s Service in Australia we wanted to test out a new approach to case management.

30%

predicted efficiency gains for social workers

9

prototypes and concepts tested

Using a design led approach, we started working with frontline teams across the whole of the Child Protection journey, from referrals to leaving care. This has included meeting with a wide range of stakeholders and turning user insights into a future user journey which puts user experience at the heart of the journey through the service. We also spent time with families and young people to understand what goes through these services felt like. Challenges around transparency, having ownership over their story and tense relationships with practitioners were insights we knew all too well. Luckily, we knew technology could help with some of these pain points.

We're now redesigning a new 'user experience' layer to sit over the top of existing systems before phasing out that will enable a greater user experience for practitioners and increase productivity by 30%. This includes access for families and young people to enable them to take control of their own journey through services and greater use of data, automation and analytics throughout the process.


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