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Contact Point Questions and Answers January 2010

Contact Point Questions and Answers January 2010

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Published by Bren

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Published by: Bren on Jun 24, 2010
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January 2010
ContactPoint Q&A
ContactPoint is a directory for practitioners who work with children and youngpeople. It provides a quick way to find out who else is working with the samechild or young person, making it easier for them to work as a team and delivermore coordinated support.This online directory, available to authorised staff who need it to do their jobs,is a tool to help improve the well-being of all children, keep them safe andensure that no child slips through the net of support services. It is a key part ofa wider programme to transform children's services by supporting effectiveprevention and early intervention.
Why do we need it?
Without ContactPoint, practitioners can waste days trying to find out who elseis working with the same child or unknowingly duplicate work that is alreadybeing carried out by another service. Practitioners working with a child need toknow about each other and talk to each other, so that they can find the rightsupport quickly and before problems get more serious. Practitioners must, asthey do now, ensure that they follow established guidelines on sharinginformation
. ContactPoint is something that practitioners have told us thatthey want and need in order to do their jobs more effectively.
What are the benefits?
Providing a quick way for practitioners to find out who else is working with thesame child provides key benefits, and there is already promising evidence ofways in which ContactPoint is helping practitioners in their day-to-day workwith children, young people and their families.Key benefits include:
Improved service experience for children, young people and familiesthrough better coordinated service delivery, a more timely response totheir needs and a reduction in unnecessary repeat assessments andreferrals.
Faster and more effective intervention before problems becomeserious because practitioners can build a fuller picture of children andyoung people’s needs and identify what help and support is needed.
Less unproductive time spent by practitioners trying to find out whichother services are involved with a child and then trying to contact theright person. This is conservatively estimated to be worth five millionpractitioner hours a year. This time saved means that practitioners canspend more time working directly with children and young people.
Because it is a national system, children and young people who access
Cross government guidance on information sharing is available fromwww.dcsf.gov.uk/ecm/informationsharing ContactPoint Q&A Status: finalJanuary 2010
services in different local authority areas or move between areas won’tslip through the net.ContactPoint is supported by a wide range of organisations, including sevenNational Partners: Action for Children, Barnardo’s, CAFCASS, CEOP, Kids,NSPCC and The Children’s Society. Case studies illustrating howContactPoint is being used in practice are available from our website(www.dcsf.gov.uk/ecm/contactpoint)
INFORMATION HELD ON CONTACTPOINTWhat information is held on ContactPoint?
ContactPoint holds the following information:
Name, address, gender, date of birth and a unique identifying numberof all children in England (up to their 18th birthday).Name and contact details for:
parents or carers
educational setting (e.g. school)
primary medical practitioner (e.g. GP practice)
other services
(these contact details are being added over time)
for example health visitor, social worker or leadprofessional
indicator for whether a Common Assessment Framework(CAF) exists.Explicit, informed consent of the child or young person (or parent/carer ifacting on their behalf) is required to record contact details for a sensitiveservice.There is a facility for the records of some young adults to stay onContactPoint until they are 25, but only for very limited reasons and only withexplicit consent.ContactPoint does not and will not hold any case information (such as casenotes or details of any assessments, medical data or exam results).
What are ‘sensitive services’?
Sensitive services have been defined as services relating to sexual health,mental health and substance abuse. Explicit, informed consent of the child oryoung person (or parent/carer if acting on their behalf) is required to recordcontact details for a sensitive service. Where they are recorded, only anindication of an unspecified sensitive service would be visible to the majorityof users. ContactPoint management teams will broker contact.Lack of consent to place sensitive service practitioner details on ContactPointmay be over-ridden in circumstances where there are genuine child protectionconcerns.
ContactPoint Q&A Status: finalJanuary 2010

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