Stockport to receive national funding for children's services digital project
A project put forward by Stockport Council and three local authority partners has been awarded £100,000 from The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government Local Digital Fund.
The award will be used to develop software that will give frontline children’s services workers quicker access to information on families in need and the full range of services that are supporting them.
Cllr Elise Wilson, Cabinet Member (Reform and Governance) at Stockport Council said: “We are committed to using digital to improve our customer experience, but digital transformation is an expensive and time consuming activity. We signed the Local Digital Declaration because we believe that by working together with other public bodies we can pool our resources to better effect for all and we are delighted to have been successful in obtaining this funding for a collaborative project.”
Cllr Wilson continues: “We have been listening carefully to the needs of both our staff and our residents. Currently frontline workers can spend days collecting information that is held across many different systems. Saving time on this process will enable these highly-stretched staff to instead prioritise conversations with other services to better understand families’ needs and to spend more time working directly with the families.”
A period of user research has now started which will be followed by the development and testing of a working prototype. The outcomes for children and time and cost savings for frontline workers will be assessed in April to determine if it should be progressed to full development.
Stockport has also been included in a separate successful GMCA bid to the Local Digital Fund, for an £80,000 project, which aims to improve decision making in children’s services departments.
This announcement is the latest in Stockport’s drive to digital. Earlier this year the Council appointed leading social change charity Good Things Foundation to run a new cross sector partnership programme that will help residents of Stockport to improve their digital skills, and to take advantage of the benefits of being online.