How it all works

For anyone still feeling confused about the relationship between the Information Sharing Index ‘Contactpoint’, the Integrated Children’s System and the eCAF, the DfES has published a handy guide called ‘How ICS, CAF and ContactPoint fit together: A short essay on Harnessing Information for ECM’ (ECM = Every Child Matters)

The document is keen to stress that no case information will be held on ‘Contactpoint’, provoking another of those “do they think our heads button up the back?” moments. It doesn’t need to hold case information! Once practitioners are in contact with each other, case information can be exchanged directly between their systems, thanks to the government’s e-GIF (e-Government Interoperability Framework) which mandates that all systems must be able talk to each other.

As in:

Better public services tailored to the needs of the citizen and business, require the seamless flow of information across government. The e-Government Interoperability Framework (e-GIF) sets out the government’s technical policies and specifications for achieving interoperability and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) systems coherence across the public sector. The e-GIF defines the essential prerequisites for joined-up and web-enabled government.

Worth bearing in mind the government estimate that 1 in 3 children will need the extra services for which an in-depth eCAF assessment will need to be carried out. You have to hand it to them – it’s a pretty good way of finding out what happens behind the front doors of one-third of the families in England.

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