Refocussing child protection

A nice interview in Community Care with Eileen Munro on her plans for improving child protection:

Munro wants to wipe the slate clean. “We’re not talking about trimming back the current forms but re-examining why we record anything and ensuring that what we do record helps children. We have to go back to recording the narrative, not data.”

She puts a welcome emphasis on the need to include children and families in the process, rather than simply doing things to them:

Munro is keen that all documents are simple enough for families to read them and flexible enough to take children’s views into account. “That might mean a child’s drawing or a poem,” she says. “We need to be trying to understand children’s experience and not treat them as oddities who must be fitted into the assessment process.”

Update: Also on the child protection track, Sue White takes no prisoners in Society Guardian today:

The system keeps limping along – its feet bearing the self-inflicted gunshot wounds of trigger-happy policymakers…They promised us a safe 4×4 in which to navigate a primrose path, but we’ve ended up down a muddy track in a Reliant Robin. Let’s get out and walk.

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2 Responses to Refocussing child protection

  1. Chris Mills says:

    There is a need to begin with a close examination of the professional and business processes which are necessary to protect children and promote their welfare. We should only be recording what is necessary to deliver those processes, not what a committee or department or some-one thinks might be interesting or important. Too much information carries as many risks as too little: information overload and needles-in-haystacks. Services currently operate under a ‘data smog’ caused by careless and ill-though-out statements of information requirements. We need to think ‘lean’ – record it only if it adds value by making a child safer, not because a civil servant or a politician tells us to.

  2. archrights says:

    Absolutely right, Chris. It’s really very sad that what so many of us were predicting 6 years ago has come to pass. The ill-informed, ‘ooh shiny’ enthusiasm that led to this welter of meaningless data is at last beginning to wear thin, and the resulting mess is only too clear.

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