Patchwork Feedback – Email Notifications

One thing people have said they would find useful about Patchwork is the ability to have it help them without them having to log into it every 5 minutes. With this in mind, lots of people have been asking for it to email them with notifications of updates being made to client records and so forth. Of course, we want to balance this with the system not overwhelming people with emails, as there’s nothing more likely to put you off using a system than it constantly spamming you.

So, what would be really useful for us is if you could tell us;

– what sorts of email updates you would find useful. Which changes on a client record would you want to be emailed about, and which are you happy to wait to see next time you log in?
– how time critical are these updates, for example often would you want the system to email you? As soon as it happens? At the end of the day? At the end of the week?

Leave us a comment below to let us know, or email [email protected]

Patchwork in the Munro Review and new Safeguarding Statutory Guidance released

Munro Review Progress Report

Almost immediately after the elections in 2010, the government announced a review of child protection headed up by Professor Eileen Munro with the aim of conducting a review of the system

“with a focus on strengthening the social work profession, to put them into a better position to make well-informed judgements based on up-to-date evidence in the best interests of children and free from unnecessary bureaucracy and regulation.”

We have welcomed the review throughout and worked to share the learning from the Patchwork project wherever possible as we work towards using technology to better safeguard children by improving relationships between practitioners and families, helping to join up frontline services and practitioners for better outcomes.

So we were very pleased to see Patchwork mentioned in the most recent report back from the review Progress report: Moving towards a child centred system, published a year after the final Munro Report. Patchwork features in Professor Sue White’s submission to the review (thanks to our partners Brighton and Hove City Council) that looks specifically at the future of case management and the use of technology in child protection [page 41 of this PDF in case you want to take a look]:

“whilst it will always be necessary to have systems for storing documents, recording events and decisions and gather data, it is important that the use of technology does not become reduced to these important but rather static functions. There is growing evidence of smaller scale, pilot design projects. It would be useful to illustrate this with an exemplar…” [insert Patchwork case study here]

Importantly Professor White also points to an open source future for ICS (Integrated Children’s System):

“There is a compelling case for an open source project for children’s and indeed adult social care. We need to harness the design expertise of the sector and produce a sustainable adaptable, iterative system with potential to increase creative capacity and technological expertise in the sector. The current government are rightly championing ‘open source’ technology.”

Good to hear we’re on the right lines then…

We’ll be continuing to follow and contribute to the work of the review wherever possible, making sure Patchwork continues to play a role in supporting future improvements in child protection practice. Watch this space.

New Safeguarding Statutory Guidance

In other news, the Department of Education have published important new Safeguarding Statutory Guidance for consultation. One for everyone to get involved in. Read the consultation in full here or here’s a short introduction from the Children’s Minister Tim Loughton for those of you who prefer the video version.

Patchwork Feedback – Client Profile

One of the most important elements of the whole Patchwork system is the profile page for each client. On this page, you are presented with both the information on the client, and information on which practitioners are working with that client. At the moment the page presents you with the following information;

– Name (and any ‘alias’)
– Address
– Date of Birth
– Telephone number
– Agencies working with the client
– Details of agents working with the client within those agencies
– A list of activity on that client record (e.g. agents being added/removed, client details being updated).

However, we’d like to know if this is the right information. Is there any other information you would find it useful to record about a client? For example, would it be of use to be able to add a photograph of the client to their record?

Let us know what you think using the comments section below, or email [email protected]