Everyday Children’s Services Departments take decisions that change the lives of children and their families such: as should a child stay with their parents? what services should they access? Or what services can we afford to provide them? However, these departments rarely have access to the data and insight they need.
Today, it takes England’s 153 Children’s Services Departments upwards of three months to create the only comparable datasets on vulnerable children (SSDA903 and CiN Census). This is both time consuming and expensive (~100k per authority / £15.3m nationally). The result – the data is only collected annually, and the accuracy varies greatly by authority.
This means most of the time authorities don’t have key pieces of information that would help them understand differences in practice models, co-commission services, performance manage provision, and more.
Across Greater Manchester, we want to understand the pain paints in preparing common datasets, identify opportunities to improve the process and agree what data would be most valuable to access/use regularly. The discovery is the first step on a journey to ensuring that Children’s Services Departments finally have access to the data they need to understand ‘what works’ and ensure each child reaches their potential.
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