Family Context Project: The next chapter begins

With a further award from MHCLG, we are now able to move on to the beta stage.

Social Finance UK
Feb 5 · 3 min read

By Richard Norris, Lead Business Analyst in Digital by Design at Stockport Council

In the alpha phase of our Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) funded Family Context project, we developed a prototype of our digital solution for how best to provide social workers with the key information they need when they first interact with a family.

With a further award from MHCLG, we are now able to move on to the beta stage where we hope to create a viable digital solution that has the potential for national adoption.

Building on our learning during the alpha phase, we intend to be open and transparent in how we work, and to create reusable artefacts for others to use, such as:

  • Executive summary: a high-level view of Family Context so a new local authority can decide if it is right for them
  • Implementer’s guide: a concise document outlining how a local authority new to Family Context can implement it in their area

The guide will provide:

  • Suggested approach and phasing for this multi-disciplinary project
  • Clear guidance for the different discipline specialists involved, including service leads, technical leads, and information governance leads
  • Links to tools and materials we’ve used during the planning and roll out, including user research scripts, digital prototypes, API specification and reference front-end implementation, data justifications, and a reference data protection impact assessment

How we started

Collaboratively, and leaning on our experiences from alpha, we have involved specialists from Information Governance, Technical, and Social Work Practice to ensure we can make the most effective progress in each area.

Our Information Governance and Ethics colleagues are involved in activities like:

  • Ensuring IG requirements are in place for all parties relating to the most valuable data sets
  • Obtaining the data from other agencies
  • Hearing from residents on the appropriateness of the approach through a citizen panel

Our Technical team is involved in activities like:

  • Creation of common design pattern
  • Building prototype of digital tool
  • Securing digital agency to assist with build

Social work practitioners are involved through activities like:

  • User research
  • Digital testing
  • Staff training

Next steps

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Social Finance UK

We partner with government, social sector and the financial community to find better solutions to society’s most difficult problems.

Social Finance UK

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Social Finance works in partnership to develop new solutions, including through Social Impact Bonds, to society's most difficult problems.

Social Finance UK

We partner with government, social sector and the financial community to find better solutions to society’s most difficult problems.

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