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Understanding the challenges of children in need

We helped create a new way of enabling better child care delivery.

Related topics Global review
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Section 1

How can data protect kids?

Providing the best chances in life is a complex and expensive job

Around the world 275m children are exposed to violence at home each year, and as many as 2.7 million could be living in institutional care worldwide*. Once a child with complex social, emotional and educational needs enters care, it is becoming increasingly difficult for them to leave the system. Stretched care systems focus on short-term needs and struggle to maximize efficiencies from connecting all stakeholders involved in the process. The problem is acute in New South Wales (NSW), Australia, where almost US$750m is spent on out-of-home care each year.

Around the world

275 million

children are exposed to violence at home each year

NSW wanted to shift from an approach which focused on placing children in care, to one that focuses on long-term outcomes – understanding the children’s needs and providing the best mix of services. This involves creating a picture of each child’s circumstances and needs to achieve better life outcomes for the child.  

To do this, we have been working with the NSW Department of Family and Community Services designing a system that is pro-active and which creates a single view of children at risk of harm.

EY was asked to help because “they had not only the great thinking for this task, they were a partner that could be trusted by the whole range of stakeholders involved,” said Maree Walk, Former Deputy Secretary, NSW Family and Community Services.

They really understood the kind of problem we were trying to solve
Maree Walk
Former Deputy Secretary, NSW Family and Community Services.
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Section 2

Connecting care to context

Creating a tool to join the dots behind essential care delivery

The Child Protection Intelligence Portal has been designed to underpin the ‘child centric’ service system by connecting relevant data from partners including police, education and health data. Everyone responsible for protecting children at risk – including helpline workers, carers, caseworkers –pulling together all the relevant information they need quickly and easily, to make the best possible decision concerning a child’s welfare.

So if, for example, a helpline worker receives a call from someone who believes a child at a particular address is unsafe, they will be able to view location, socio-economic, crime and medical data associated with that address to assess the level of risk for a child living there – and take appropriate action.  Better informed risk assessments and intervention decisions can be made based on a much broader range of data.

The information can also be viewed across a range of devices, including mobile, which means that caseworkers can spend more time out working with children and families and less time in the office.

To develop the portal, we brought together all of our industry experience, strategic technology alliances, offshore teams, and our strong data analytics capability
Mark Nixon
Client Service Partner for the NSW Department of Family and Community Services
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Section 3

Enabling decision makers to make better decisions

With more coordinated data, governments can serve society more effectively – and efficiently

In addition to the immediate benefits of having more children from better coordination of care services, there are also longer term benefits for the government.

“The work we’ve done with EY shows that within 10 years, we will be seeing between $220-370m of savings, which can be re-invested in the system.”

The experience we gained on this project has wide-ranging applicability in helping to use data to address other social challenges. It was used to develop EY’s Citizen Intelligence Platform, which uses smart data and analytics to bring together information from multiple agencies and organizations, combining it with powerful indexing and search capabilities.

This intelligent platform is supporting governments re-allocate assets and redesign service delivery as they improve the lives of the most vulnerable people in society.

Summary

EY worked with the NSW Department of Family and Community Services to create an innovative Child Centric Service System that focuses on the child’s needs.  The Child Protection Intelligence Portal is designed to underpin this service system connecting multiple data sources of a highly sensitive nature into a singular view of the child. By digitizing a complex and unconnected process, better, more informed decisions can be made and more targeted care can be provided to children at a lower cost. The result is a greater focus on the care needs of children achieving better long term life outcomes – at a lower cost.