Journal Article

An Exemplary Scheme? An Evaluation of the Integrated Children's System

Ian Shaw, Margaret Bell, Ian Sinclair, Patricia Sloper, Wendy Mitchell, Paul Dyson, Jasmine Clayden and Jackie Rafferty

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 39, issue 4, pages 613-626
Published in print June 2009 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online April 2009 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI:
An Exemplary Scheme? An Evaluation of the Integrated Children's System

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We outline selected central results from a formative evaluation of four pilot sites in England and Wales of the Integrated Children's System (ICS) – one part of the UK's e-Government strategy. We concentrate on the aspiration of the ICS towards ‘integration’ and ‘systematization’ of services within children's services, at local and national levels. We look in turn at, the use of the ICS as a foundation for aggregate statistical profiles; the experience and views of the social workers; and the implications of ICS for social work practice as exemplified in social workers' use of time. The evidence suggests substantial problems in accomplishing government policy aspirations in each of these areas. We review the likely reasons for these problems, and recommend a review of the ICS on the grounds that the difficulties are inherent rather than transitory, and have arisen at least in part from uncertainty as to whether the ICS is fit for purpose. The authors seek to promote the open and thoughtful debate that a major innovation of this nature requires.

Keywords: Integrated Children's System; children's services; ICT; policy implementation

Journal Article.  5497 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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