Professionals need to act on information

Information is worth nothing without analysis and action,
experts told delegates at Community Care Live Children and
today, writes Lauren

Speaking at a main plenary session at the conference in London,
Penny Thompson, former executive director of social services at
Sheffield Council and new chief executive of Hackney Council,
insisted that sharing information was essential in order to
safeguard children.

“But the critical job then is analysing that information – what
does it tell you about a child? The information on its own is not
sufficient. And actually, analysing is not sufficient either
because if you don’t act, nothing changes.”

But Voice for the Child in Care chief executive John Kemmis
warned workers against becoming obsessed with adult
information-sharing systems at the expense of involving, and
listening to, children.

“In relation to child protection, start with the child and stay
with the child,” he said. “Retain that focus. Information gathering
should be fit for purpose. And children have the right to know who
is being told what.”

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