Children's Services and Youth Offending join forces for better outcomes

Find out how a Local Authority joined up its Youth Offending and Social Care systems by using our dedicated Integration Services 

Multi-agency information sharing and data matching issues have recently raised serious concerns throughout the public sector. Acknowledging the importance of integrated working in order to improve outcomes for children and young people, the London Borough sought a solution to address the inefficiencies of pre-existing disparate systems.

In conjunction with OLM, the London Borough achieved full integration of their children’s social care, youth justice and court systems. This joined-up approach facilitated a holistic view of each child’s record. Owing to the ultimate success of this implementation, discussions are currently in progress concerning the extension of the solution to further areas within the council.

The challenge

Traditionally, the London Borough retained data on three unconnected systems; children’s services, supplied by OLM, and the youth justice and court system supplied by Social Software. For professionals requiring access to a system that falls outside their principal area of work, user rights were issued to allow searches to be undertaken.

Consequently, it was identified that the need for improvement in this area was high priority. The Council realised that only through sharing information between key professionals can an authority fully support children with significant and varying needs.

In order to assist these professionals in their field of expertise, a holistic view of each child’s record, detailing the full extent of the council’s involvement was necessary. Hence the council wanted to explore how services could and should integrate. At the same time consideration needed to be given to how best to deliver high quality services. Services that meet statutory requirements within a value for money framework to reduce duplication, improve efficiency and minimise costs.

The solution

OLM’s Integration Framework, comprising of a data matching tool and a presentation display, was selected. This solution creates locally defined views of data held in three linked databases within the Council. This makes it possible for Social Care Workers and Youth Offending Teams to view data held in each other's systems.

As the Integration Framework provides a configurable web application specifically designed for multi-agency information sharing, databases are now linked. This enables users to gain all the necessary information from a single source. Furthermore the solution features a common presentation layer which captures, governs, displays and controls information flow to and from individual users.

The benefits

OLM’s Integration Framework has facilitated the smooth transition of data between three separate systems within the Council, whilst directly supporting the integrated working and information sharing agendas.

By integrating services, children’s needs can be addressed earlier and more effectively, as case workers are now able to obtain information quicker than before. The team lead at the Council explains; “Integrated working provides benefits to everyone involved, from children and young people to families and the practitioners themselves.”

A valuable feature of the solution is the presentation of locally-configured views displaying data drawn from the different linked systems and presented on one screen.

This is customised and configured as required. For example, system administrators can determine what information is presented and who has access. This allows for the creation of designated views to support the information needs of specific groups of practitioners.