Author Topic: ContactPoint to be switched off today  (Read 836 times)

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Offline Margie

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ContactPoint to be switched off today
« on: August 06, 2010, 10:35:30 AM »
From the BBC News website today: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-10887082

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Child protection database to be switched off

ContactPoint was established in the wake of the Victoria Climbie child abuse case to aid child protection.

The report into her death highlighted the need to improve the exchange of information between different agencies working with vulnerable children.

The government argued the system was disproportionate to the problem, so is looking at developing other solutions.

The system, which has been running since January last year, was always controversial and was set to cost a further £41m a year.

After successive delays, it was rolled out to only 15,000 users, out of the initial target of 330,000.

The system was used by doctors, social workers, schools, charities and other individuals involved in the protection of children.

Many said it was useful in tracking children and discovering the truth about the way they are cared for.

Continue reading the main story
“
Start Quote
Experience shows the potential value of a quick and reliable means of discovering whether another professional has worked with such a child”
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Tim Loughton
 
Children's Minister
 
End of a child protection revolution
But civil liberties groups criticised it as intrusive and disproportionate.

'Not the answer'
 
They were concerned about keeping information on all of England's children in one place and feared that it was not secure.

In July, Children's Minister Tim Loughton confirmed that the government was scrapping the scheme.

He said he recognised the problem that the previous administration was trying to solve when it established ContactPoint.

"Frontline practitioners need to be able to provide support for our most vulnerable children when they move across local authority boundaries or access services in more than one area," he said.

"Experience shows the potential value of a quick and reliable means of discovering whether another professional has worked with such a child.

"It is worth considering a national approach to that issue."

However, he was clear that ContactPoint was not the answer.

Instead, he is looking at establishing a new national service which would focus on helping practitioners find out whether another practitioner is working, or has worked, in another authority area with a child.

Decommissioning of the information contained on the database will begin at noon on Friday.