Saturday, 29 November 2014

Useful IT for Child Protection

The Child Protection-Information Sharing (CP-IS) system is beginning to be rolled out. It will connect hospital emergency departments, out-of-hours GPs, walk-in centres, and local authorities throughout England.

The system is quite straightforward. It will flag-up if a child is subject to a child protection plan or is being cared for by a local authority. In addition it indicates if children have frequently attended accident and emergency departments in the past.

I am in favour of this sort of IT. It is simple. It has limited objectives. It doesn’t pretend to be something it isn’t. It isn’t mass surveillance. It is appropriate and proportionate. It is likely to work.

Why haven’t we had this system sooner? I can’t say for sure but the silly infatuation some years ago with complicated and unproven systems like ContactPoint and the Integrated Children’s System has certainly distracted and detracted from providing sensible IT systems which are likely to be effective in keeping children safe.