The Munro recommendations as published in the new Working Together document are just one element of a usability programme that has been adopted by Liquidlogic since the Department for Education (DfE) began to relax ICS criteria following the Baby Peter inquiry. From the outset, Liquidlogic has been involved with three Munro pilot sites focusing, amongst other things, on varying timescales around a single assessment. Other changes have centered on ways of improving practice, changing the CiN census statutory return and risks identified following assessment.
All changes adopted for Munro are already within the system and configurable. Liquidlogic has customers using the improved system in a live environment.
One key change includes the option of a single assessment replacing the initial and core; this is something which is already live and operational at Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council, for example. Speaking about the change in approach to assessments, Paul Connolly, Practice Lead at Wigan MBC comments: “We can really see the benefit of having just one assessment to complete as opposed to two separate stages. Every Local Authority is looking to maximise time spent with the families they are supporting as opposed to in front of a computer, streamlining the assessment process supports this goal. Liquidlogic had clearly anticipated the changes and was prepared to support us with an upgrade which provided access to the single assessment immediately. We have been using the Single Assessment since the beginning of April and practitioner feedback has been very positive so far. None of the detail is lost by having one assessment rather than two.”
Liquidlogic customers still have the option of working with an initial and core assessment if preferred.
Other new functionality to support Working Together includes:
- The ability to progress to a strategy discussion from a referral, bypassing the assessment stage
- Services can be commissioned before the assessment is complete
- Non-social care services can be recorded
- Case reviews can be recorded against the child and alerted to be reviewed automatically
- Capturing the Child’s Voice within the assessments or even specific forms thanks to the flexibility of the form designer supplied with the system. This can of course also be reported on
- Practitioners are also able to select specific parts of a child’s case record and present them on the front screen showing timelines and chronology items
- New CiN census reporting tools
- New timescales
Commenting on Working Together, Andrew Smith, Liquidlogic’s Product Specialist Manager, says: “We had anticipated these changes and built the new functionality into the Liquidlogic Children’s Social Care System to enable our customers to take advantage of the Working Together recommendations. As a leading supplier in this sector, customers rightfully expect us to be prepared for any changes from the DfE to enable the smooth transition from one working practice to another.”