Every Children and Families Service uses an online case management system to record information about the families they are working with, the challenges they face and the support being offered. When developing a Contextual Safeguarding approach it is important to consider the extent to which extra-familial relationships, contexts and issues can be recorded in a case management system, and any action taken to address these.
At Tier 1 of a Contextual Safeguarding system business support colleagues, and relevant managers, need to consider whether the case management system in use facilitates, or prevents, practitioners from:
- documenting extra-familial factors impacting a family and the actions required to address these
- identifying links between children who are all open to the service and share the same contextual risks (for example associated to the same location or peer group) but who are not related
- appropriately weighting concerns about risks within, and external to, families and how these interact with one another when reading conclusions about the level of need and support required
At Tier 2 of a Contextual Safeguarding system, consideration needs to be given to whether there are electronic systems available (within a case management system or elsewhere) to:
- record referrals received about extra-familial contexts or relationships where there are concerns about the welfare of young people
- open cases related to extra-familial contexts (including locations and peer groups) as well as families – and record case notes attached to that record, and any interventions offered etc.
- link plans associated to extra-familial contexts to individual children impacted by that context who are also open to services
The structure such forms take, and the systems used by services to develop this capability will likely vary nationally. Furthermore, a case management system, as has been noted by many others, will not determine the effectiveness of practice. However, in a Contextual Safeguarding system it is important to consider whether the case management system enables the adoption of the approach, and that adaptions are made where required to support this part of the system change.
The following webinar and podcast explain how Hackney has contextualised its case management system (Mosaic).
Recording Contextual Safeguarding on a case management system
Ross Tuckley, Business Development and Support Manager in Hackney, explains the work conducted to enable the recording of peer groups and locations in Hackney's case management system.
Contextualising case management systems
Ross Tuckley is part of a working group in Hackney's Children and Families Services which is looking at developing Mosaic (the social work case management system) to record peer group and location referrals. In this podcast, Ross tells us about the work he has been leading on Mosaic in Hackney.