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Using technology to support effective intervention


18 Mar 2016

Ahead of our second annual National Conference on 12 April, our event sponsor Capita One’s commercial director Mark Raeburn shares some thoughts on early intervention and the importance of having the right information at the right time.

We at Capita One, are delighted to be able to continue our partnership with the Early Intervention Foundation. With the Prime Minister’s recent plans to make parenting classes more accessible to more families in order to tackle poverty and improve children’s life chances, it’s clear that early intervention and prevention will continue to be a golden thread for improving outcomes for the most vulnerable.

Imagine you’re the headteacher of a primary school. In order to support every child to fulfil their potential, you need a complete picture of your pupils and to be able to easily make contact with other professionals involved in their care, should there be any concerns. By sharing data with schools and multi-agency teams, you can more easily understand the wider context of a child’s circumstances and can put intervention strategies in place at the right time.

Effective early intervention can reap rewards at any stage of life – from birth, through education and working life and into old age. Circumstances can change at any time for children, young people and families and getting the right support in place at the earliest possible point is critical to preventing problems from escalating into a crisis.

We know from many of our local authority customers that the challenge is knowing what help is needed in their area, where and by whom.

An authority might want to look at the progress looked-after children are making in school, for example. Are there one or two schools where the achievement of this group stands out? And if so, what is happening here that might help other schools in the area to improve outcomes for these children?

There might be a sudden increase in the number of young people getting involved in crime. Has there been a rise in gang related activity? Are more young people leaving school without the qualifications they need to go into further education or get a job? As highlighted by the EIF’s recent research on preventing gang and youth violence, young people who are at risk of becoming consumed in this violent lifestyle need to be identified and given the right support as early as possible.

With the right tools, local authorities could join up the information already available in their systems to answer these questions and more. Current technology can provide users with engaging, interactive dashboards so trends can be spotted faster, not only freeing up the time of those teams but allowing at risk children to be identified as soon as possible.  Intuitive reports can allow users to spend less time struggling with data, and more time with the children who really matter.

Whether the aim is to strengthen early years provision, boost achievement in school or tackle the often complex challenges that vulnerable families face, unlocking knowledge from the information already held by local authorities is key to the success of that initiative. Allowing relevant data on children and families to flow easily between teams is key to having a complete view of each child or young person, enabling early intervention to make a difference to the most vulnerable children and families, at any point in time.