All local authorities have made some progress aligning their case management processes to the Signs of Safety practice. This has included altering forms, changing the format of child protection conferences and reports, and bringing family network meetings into the centre of the practice and in some places having these meetings fulfil the role of prescribed conferences. However, progress is uneven and it is fair to say that for most agencies, the processes that were in place before the Munro Review remain dominant.
Lincolnshire – Partner in Practice role
Lincolnshire as a Partner in Practice agency has been separately and funded prior to the EIP to fully align its case management processes with Signs of Safety practice. As such it is setting aside the flow diagrams set out in the Working Together guidance and starting again from the premise of the workflow indicated by Signs of Safety practice. It has all necessary exemptions in place to do so but all local authorities are reminded that they have more latitude than is often realised in determining their own case management processes. As Lincolnshire has begun this comprehensive work that mirrors the EIP key deliverable it can be a spearhead for the EIP group sharing its progress and resources.
Next steps in aligning process to practice
Neither the progress achieved to date nor the challenges of achieving full alignment are to be underestimated. Local authorities worked to analyse their current situation and how to make further progress by answering and discussing the following questions:
The local authorities identified their priorities and next steps as:
- Identifying the alignment development (EIP key deliverable) in an endorsed plan so as to be able to take new leaders with us (expecting future changes of DCS and lead member).
- At an all staff event coming up we will showcase the new aligned forms that we have developed and involve the staff who’ve helped to do so.
- Revisit what practitioners want from our forms, eg, a place to record mapping etc. including IT system work arounds such as taking a photo and putting this on a record.
- Look to simplify the over complicated workflow and CIS (case information system) solution.
- Launch our new plan called a ‘progress plan’ that looks specifically at what the family will do and separately at what professionals will do, and establish a working group to drive future progress.
- Set up a Task & Finish group to focus on process, involving practitioners, IT support, managers. (Will look to aligned Liquidlogic CIM and make sure we don’t lose continuity of data).
- Moving to aligned Mosaic CIS (case information system). Will also look at QA and performance data.
- Launching practice framework combined with a practice conference, managers will use this opportunity to check where we are with staff. Also moving to aligned Mosaic CIM and would like to join with other users of this system to inform its continued development to meet our needs.
- Now have a new unaligned CIS (case information system), next step is to work on Signs of Safety being reflected in process.
- Shifting to aligned Liquidlogic CIS (case information system in March 18 and need to make sure forms are fit for Signs of Safety practice and management information is what we want.
MTM strongly suggests that each local authority establish a dedicated working party (task and finish group), possibly as a sub-committee of the steering group, to oversee action and progress on alignment of case management processes to the Signs of Safety practice.