Introducing ChiMat – an invaluable resource for children’s services

chimat_logo“Attention has become the scarce resource of the information economy” Wired Magazine

One of my favourite sayings because it is a reality that there is so much information available on the internet that it can become overwhelming. Every organisation I am connected with now sends out an e-Letter. Improving access to, and use of, knowledge and information has been identified as a priority for improving care services. But identifying the resources which will add value to your knowledge and skills is a major challenge.

The national Child and Maternal Health Observatory (ChiMat) provides information and intelligence to improve decision-making for high quality, cost effective services. It supports policy makers, commissioners, managers, regulators, and other health stakeholders working on children’s, young people’s and maternal health. One of the key roles for ChiMat is to act as a signposting organisation for relevant work in the areas of children, young people’s and maternal health and to identify and support potential synergies in national work between government departments and other agencies.

The ChiMat Knowledge Update is one e-Bulletin that I always read. This free online resource provides a snapshot of current issues, news, research, policy and practice across the wide area of children and young people’s services. It is an excellent example of joined up thinking in health and social care. 

Sign up for the weekly ChiMat Knowledge Update here

Recent Knowledge Updates have included information about:

National Indicators datasets
Access to information about national indicators which range from National Indicator 58 – Emotional Behaviour of Looked After Children through to National Indicator 62 – The percentage of children looked after at 31 March with three or more placements subsequently adopted in that placement. Access the ChiMat Data Atlas here

In the News
Community Care: BASW brands integrated children’s system a failure
The British Association of Social Workers has branded the implementation of the computerised integrated children’s system (ICS), which records details of children receiving social care, a “systematic failure”. Access the article here

CWDC: Dawn Primarolo launches Young People’s Workforce Reform Programme
An important chapter for the young people’s workforce, and those it serves, begins today, as Children and Young People’s Minister, Dawn Primarolo launches the Young People’s Workforce Reform Programme. Access more information here

Supporting social care for families and children: An introduction to SCIE’s resources
A new booklet presenting SCIE’s range of resources for families and children’s social care. Access here

BASW and ADCS call for no-blame approach in SCRs
Social workers and directors of children’s services have called for serious case reviews to use a no-blame “systems approach” as developed by the Social Care Institute for Excellence. Access here

Hidden Children –separated children at risk
Professionals ‘missing opportunities’ to help hidden children exploited for sex and forced labour. Children and young people trafficked into the UK, or exploited after their arrival, are struggling to get help from authorities responsible for their welfare, according to new research from The Children’s Society. Access more information here  
Guides and Practice
Commercial and Procurement Skills for Commissioners of Children’s Services
This page links to a set of guidance documents designed to help commissioners understand and apply commercial and procurement skills in their work. The documents cover the key principles of procurement, an overview of both strategic procurement and the contracting process, an overview of resource mapping and a basic jigsaw tool designed to help commissioners understand the key principles of change management.  Access here 

Policy and Reports
Community engagement key to Enfield’s JSNA strategy
The London Borough of Enfield has teamed up with the local primary care trust (PCT), NHS Enfield. They have placed community engagement at the heart of their joint strategic needs assessment (JSNA). This cas study gives an account of this process and includes key learnings for other councils. Access here

Meeting the specific needs of children with disabilities
The Centre for Excellence and Outcomes presents the latest guidance on the importance of ‘differentiated’ services for disabled children. Access here  

Exploring family environment characteristics and multiple abuse experiences among homeless youth
A qualitative study of homeless youth to examine how they describe past instances of abuse, including physical, sexual and emotional abuse, and to explore family characteristics in their home environment. Identifies themes relating to the home environment, such as home instability, abandonment and substance abuse; also identifies themes around abuse, including intrafamilial abuse, rejection and carer abuse.
Access here

Safeguarding Targets and Indicators
The National Safeguarding Delivery Unit (part of the Department for Children, Schools and Families) has launched a consultation on Safeguarding Targets and Indicators. Deadline for responses is 8 December 2009. Access here

Events and Training
Five Years On: What’s Changed for Children and Young People?
London, 8 December 2009
Participation Works and 11 Million are holding a one-day conference to review the changes that have taken place since the Children Act 2004. The conference will identify what has worked well and what still needs to be done to ensure that the views and opinions of children and young people help to shape and influence policy and practice. This is a unique opportunity to find out what works in participation and help you to meet the duty to listen to and involve children and young people and to champion their interests. Access more information here

Shirley Ayres Consulting are committed to development through communication in the care sector. With extensive experience in knowledge management and communications we believe that a skilled and knowledgeable workforce, up-to-date with the latest legislation, policy and best practice, enables staff to make the most effective use of their time. This promotes the best outcomes for children, young people, their families and carers.

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