ContactPoint should be replaced by a social-networking style system, according to a social innovation consultancy.
FutureGov is leading the design of a child protection database based on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. The company is currently in talks with a number of councils interested in piloting the system.
Dominic Campbell, director of FutureGov, said now that Contactpoint had been scrapped he believed the programme, called Safeguarding 2.0, could be used as a possible replacement.
Safeguarding 2.0 allows practitioners working with a child to sign up to that child’s “account”. That account would contain a case chronology, a line graph showing the amount of agency contact over time, and a forum in which practitioners can discuss their observations, progress and concerns. There is also a word cloud showing what key words come up most often within the case.
The consultancy also proposes that service users be able to view all this activity and even input their own thoughts and feelings.
“Social workers might feel uncomfortable with that, but they’ll have to swallow it,” Dominic Campbell, director of FutureGov, told Community Care.
“We believe it’s the right of the parents and families to see what’s being recorded about them. And there’s a benefit for practitioners as well – parents can be more resistant and hostile if they feel they don’t know what’s going on.”
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