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The new Coalition Government has decommissioned ContactPoint, but as yet there is no clear guidance or policy for the future. However, the need for an efficient method of sharing information across different agencies clearly still exists. Local Authorities still have a duty of care to all the young people in their area. The recent Birmingham Safeguarding Children Board’s serious case review on the tragic Khyra Ishaq case was very clear that effective inter agency information sharing is key to delivering good children’s services and adequately safeguarding young people. The report says it “can only conclude that had there been better assessments and effective interagency communication over a period of time it (Khyra Ishaq’s death) could have been prevented”.
Adaro is fully committed to the principles of safeguarding young people; our business is information and we fully recognise that high quality, up to date and appropriately shared information is vital to the security and protection of disadvantaged children. The complex and demanding environment, familiar to front line Children’s Services workers across the county, is only made harder if technology and information management processes do not deliver on their promises. The Khyra Ishaq serious case review recommended that the Local Authority “should commission work to identify how agencies can increase effective professional communication to improve the safeguarding outcomes for children and young people”. Every Local Authority will now be reviewing their own policies and procedures to investigate how cross agency communication and collaboration can be improved.
In this new ‘post ContactPoint’ and financially challenging world how can Local Authorities fulfil this obligations to safeguard their young people in an effective way? LAconnect Full Management System (FMS) provides a full local child index made up from any number of data sources, which includes a persisted best view, and all practitioner involvement data. Although initially developed to work with ContactPoint, it was always designed to be a stand alone product, far more feature rich than the national programme. LAconnect FMS proactively prompts each practitioner every time any practitioner involvement is amended or added to any child record which that practitioner is already registered as involved with. This pro-active approach, so different from the ContactPoint concept, forces and positively fosters cross agency communication and is based on 5 years real-world experience with Sheffield City Council’s SafetyNet product.
LAconnect FMS is now offered in a SaaS model – a hosted service, thus providing Local Authorities with a simple and quick method of ensuring improved inter agency communication and safeguarding levels. Being a securely hosted service there is no large initial outlay for software, rather known costs are paid on a per month basis, only for as long as the Local Authority subscribes to the service:
- Low initial outlay
- Known monthly costs
- No fixed long-term contract
- Fast configuration – be up and running in 30 days
- Pro-active practitioner alerts and intuitive interface
- Forcing improved cross agency communication and collaboration
Adaro has been working with Sheffield City Council for over six years, enhancing and extending their local child index, supporting the agility of the Council to respond to front line information sharing demands. The result of this experience is LAconnect - designed to deliver and enhance the value of cross agency communication for local authorities.
We understand a Local Authorities’ needs will change over time; Adaro’s LAconnect products are different, they are designed from the ground up to be flexible, extensible and, above all, valuable. This philosophy extends from the way the technology is built to the procurement and deployment options we offer.
LAconnect solutions are based on a suite of inter-operable services. Most of these services have been commissioned by Sheffield City Council, built by Adaro and are freely licensed (under GPLv3), this allows us to drive costs down and offer unparalleled value to our customers. Adaro have taken these services, combined them with a leading data quality tool and built LAconnect FMS – comprehensive, full service, quality product directly targeted at Local Authority needs.
LAconnect Full Management Solution (FMS) was originally developed for those authorities that recognised the value of ContactPoint but also wished to leverage that value to improve local delivery, in a way that was impossible with the DCSF programme. This is the solution adopted at Sheffield City Council (where it is locally known as ‘SafetyNet+’). The advantages of using LAconnect FMS include the ability to automatically alert front line practitioners when information relating to children and young people they are involved with changes. This fundamentally enhances the value of the local ‘best view’ child index by making information sharing proactive, rather than reactive and address a key point of learning from both the Khyra Ishaq case review and Lord Lamming’s recommendations.
To learn more about LAconnect FMS please click here.
Delivering both time and cost effectiveness, LAconnect FMS is offered as managed, hosted solution requiring no local deployment. The extension of the capability to agency partners is simple and straightforward, FMS can be configured to restrict use to accredited networks (as required by the very stringent original ContactPoint security standards) while allowing local use to be governed by local security rules. The hosted platform means that Local Authorities that subscribe to LAconnect will be able to enjoy ‘cross-border’ alerts as young people move between those Authorities
Products based on LAconnect benefit from a shared, open platform; enhancements can be developed and \ or commissioned by the user community and shared to others in that community. We have clear ideas of our own for future capabilities and enhancements but we understand that the true innovation will come from Local Authority users themselves.
The LAconnect range of solutions provides everything a Local Authority needs for a complete management solution delivering collaborative cross agency information sharing with frontline practitioners and simple integration with any Local Authority or Partner Organisation data sources.
Check out the news at the LAconnect Community website: www.laconnect.org.uk!
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