MPs and celebrities children
This is the type of mis-information that has surrounded ContactPoint, it is a totally false statement.
All children and young people in England are held within the system, some children are deemed to be so at risk if their information is found that they can be 'shielded'. The criteria around this shielding is very strict and the majority of MPs will not meet these criteria. They are mainly there to guard against risk of injury or death, such as domestic violence or honour killings and can include siblings or other children at that address.
Since ContactPoint has come into effect there has been much scrutiny of how Local Authorities hold data across multiple systems, and much best practice has now put in place to make sure sensitive information, such as that related to shielded information, is cascaded across all the local systems. It has had a positive effect so far.
Remember this system is about the early intervention & safeguarding of Children by aiding information sharing in a very tightly controlled way between professional practitioners, all the arguments I have read so far are concerned about the rights of the adults never the rights of the child.
Any parent or child (who can meet the fraser guidelines) can ask to see, through a Subject Access Request, the information that is held about their child.
In the LA that i work in we were expecting to make between £250,000 and £350,000 a year saving by reducing the number of hours wasted when a practitioner (and think more than social workers here!) starts to look for information around a child they are working with.
This is a conservative estimate and is based on a full survey taking less than a month ago, the figure is is assuming we can reduce the problem by around 35-40%! So you can imagine the money that is lost each year.
In one section that have been trained so far they have reduced their backlog by a third in just one day by using this system (due to the fact it covers England and not just the LA), and we have had nothing by praise from all concerned.
I have a full ICT background, from developer, sys-admin, ICT project manager and can state with hand on heart that this is the most secure system I have come up against, more than any health system, more than any social work system. The argument about lack of security are very poor when stood on the side lines shouting in.
When the Gov is talking about reducing the deficit and then remove a prime example of a system that is working and can achieve a cost saving it smacks of Political points rather than having an objective understanding of the system.
Take this quote for example:
"We will spend less on vast centralised IT databases which always go expensively wrong, such as the misguided effort to log every child in the country through the Contactpoint system.
I say every child but of course the children of celebrities and MPs will be able to be excluded in case of security breaches. Well if the system isn’t secure enough for me it isn’t secure enough for you so it must go"
This was taking from the now Minister for the Department for Education, Michael Gove MP, http://www.michaelgove.com/content/comprehensive_programme_state_education (near the end).
How can you be sure he is acting in the best interests of the Children when he hasn't full understanding of the system and is peddling the same lies and mis-information.
Please be objective with your criticism of the system, if you have concerns, read the Lord Laming report as to why this system came about. Read the serious case reviews about the constant lack of information sharing between trained professionals (Doctors, Social Workers, et al), the reviews into cases such as the tragic Baby P and then come back and hit me with your arguments, I will do my best not to defend the system but to provide the truth, something that is lacking from many peoples understanding of ContactPoint. If you are still concerned, give your local council a call, ask for the ContactPoint team and ask them the questions. Be nice to them though, the majority are very knowledgeable about the system and may provide the answers quickly.
Ready for a right royal flaming now...
And the black hawks are for the expected knock on the door tonight after I have spoke against our new masters and overlords.