West Yorkshire Child Protection System (WYCPS)
The project issues
FAME (Framework for Multi-Agency Environments) is an ODPM National Project which aims to help local authorities share and integrate information across traditional systems and services in order to provide better customer service, particularly single point access to multiple services.
Socitm Consulting was commissioned by Calderdale MBC to help develop a 'West Yorkshire Child Protection System' as a strand of FAME, together with a model framework for implementing a multi-agency child protection system. The project aim was to develop and implement multi-agency business processes, information sharing protocols and the technical infrastructure to enable the sharing of information and services seamlessly between the partner agencies to support a joint service delivery to children at risk.
The project encompassed the complete range of agencies concerned with Child Protection within the West Yorkshire ACPC cluster, which is coterminous with both the West Yorkshire Police Authority and the West Yorkshire Strategic Health Authority and covers the complete range of Health, Police, Education and Social Services interfaces for Child Protection.
The Socitm Consulting solution
We identified individuals across a number of agencies within Calderdale (one of the five Local Authorities involved in WYCPS) who were key to Child Protection and to IT and brought them together to form a Local Board.
Some Local Authorities chose to have discrete local Professional and Technical Boards; we found it beneficial to integrate these two as the parallel needs of Service Professionals could be discussed within the technical constraints and opportunities that IT could provide. In addition, all local agencies had significant parallel demands on key individuals: Social Services professionals were testing and implementing a new ESCR/ICS-aware system; Education Practitioners were also dealing with the DfES ISA programme; PCT Practitioners were dealing with significant changes and the NPfIT programme was just starting.
Despite this, we were able to help Calderdale contribute significantly to the project in the following ways: the input and validation of the Generic Process Model, the development of the Child Protection Information Sharing Agreement (and associated Data Protection demands) and to the Local Governance Framework (partnership architecture). Together with technical representatives on our local board, we were key contributors to the instigation of the MIM (Message Implementation Manual) which will enable inter-agency communication without the direct use of the West Yorkshire Child Protection System.
The benefits to the client
Our biggest contribution to the project was to sustain the cohesion of partners locally and across West Yorkshire. Within the context of chronic local funding restrictions, Socitm Consulting not only represented Calderdale's professionals when not available, but we actively sought to find inter-agency solutions which could balance the needs of partners. All five local authorities continue to work together, developing the products - Generic Process Model, Child Protection Information Sharing Agreement and Local Governance Framework. The MIM software is under development and should provide an open source solution for electronic multi-agency working.
Client organisation: Calderdale Metropolitan District Council
Client contact: Paul Davy, Social Services, 01422 393805, email@example.com; West Yorkshire Lead - Bradford Metropolitan District Council, Jenni Flanders, Workstream Manager, 01274 432983, firstname.lastname@example.org
Lead consultant: Liz Varga
Project no: 4571
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