Children’s Services Statutory Returns

Document Sample
Children’s Services Statutory Returns Powered By Docstoc
					        Children’s Services Statutory Returns Suppliers’ Meeting
                               25 January 2008
                         Chair: Ryan Murray, DCSF

These notes are in addition to the slides presented during the meeting, which
are also available at the CIN TeacherNet site,

1.     At the start of the meeting, attendees said the reduction in scope of the
2008-09 CIN Census to 6 months, and not collecting names had been very
well received by Local Authorities (LAs) and Suppliers alike.

Action summary from last meeting on 2 November 2007 (Aspa
Palamidas, DCSF)
2.     The published notes of the last meeting were accepted as an accurate
record. An update was given on outstanding action points:
      Action 2, XSLT validation system: some responses received with
       thanks to those suppliers already responded; more responses invited.
      Action 3, Schedule for testing: only one response received; more
       responses invited.
The remainder actions were either cleared or ongoing.

Children in Need Census - Conferences Feedback, (Isabella Craig,
3.     Different issues were raised at the three conferences held in
November/December 2007 in London, Birmingham, and York. However, the
two most crucial and consistent issues were the collection of names and the
timing of the collection. These had been addressed by the change in scope
announced at the beginning of January. The benefits versus the risks of
collecting names were calculated, taking into account concerns about data
protection, the use of data, and the possible effect on frontline services.

4.     Version 2.0 of the CIN Guidance Notes and the Technical Specification
reflect the new scope and other minor definitional issues arising out of the
conferences – these documents can be found on the Children’s Statistical
Returns page of the DCSF website.

5. The Section 52 return will be finalised shortly. There is ongoing research
on definitions and, for example, looking at voluntary services for future
collection years.

6.      A key current issue for DCSF is to make sure that the right people are
receiving our communications.

CIN 2008-09: Issues, timescales, testing (Steve Ward, DCSF)
Major Developments since last IT suppliers meeting (2 November 2007)
7.      There are a couple of issues around the security of data:
         1.   Topical news concerns, e.g., data going missing, etc.
         2.   The transfer of data specifically between different parts of the
              same local authority.
Is, for example, point 2 above something that LAs have raised with their

8.      One LA commented that the School Census collects pupils’ names;
therefore it is easy for the Department to match CIN records to children’s
names centrally. Local authorities would like reassurance that this will not
happen. There needs to be a top-level announcement about how data will be

9.      The same thing applies to ContactPoint. Local authorities were
surprised to hear at the CIN Conferences that central government does not, in
fact, have access to the data held in ContactPoint.

10.     The response from the DCSF people present was that yes, there is the
ability to match names centrally but DCSF have no intention or need to.

Action 1: DCSF to respond to LAs addressing this issue. The response
might cover data security and security more generally, as well as comments
on how the CIN data will be used once collected i.e. for research purposes

11.     Toni Margiotta (Integrated Children’s System (ICS) Development,
DCSF) added that ContactPoint is strictly regulated with regards to access.

12.     Steve Ward (DCSF) pointed out that there will be similar restrictions on
CIN data. The CIN census is not designed to intervene in the individual
child’s welfare; the data collected in CIN is purely for research purposes.

Action 2: DCSF to include a specific agenda item on Data Security at a
future meeting of this group.

Revised CIN Specification (version 2.0)
13.     This was issued at the beginning of January and contains some
additional validation rules. There are updated guidance notes (version 2.0) to
accompany the specification.

14.     Since last November (2007), we (Data Services Group within DCSF)
have been working much more closely with ICS colleagues in order to align
our work.

Data from different sources within an LA
15.     For example, some required CIN data may be held in ICS and some
may not; especially in year 1 of the collection – some of the necessary data
(e.g., services) will not be in ICS.

16.     Toni Margiotta (ICS Development) commented that very few LAs use
ICS for producing returns because their systems are not ready yet. Hence
some local authorities may need to merge and manipulate data from different
sources in order to produce a single XML file for the CIN census.

LAs are at different stages, e.g., in the process of moving social care systems
over to ICS, but some data will still be missing. There are ICS and resource
issues in Leicestershire LA. Hampshire LA is in the process of linking its
social care and educational systems and its ICS is due to complete by 1
September 2008.

17.     There is a general issue about who owns data within the local
authority. For example, special needs data may be held by education rather
than social care. If, for instance, educational data was inputted into ICS,
could social care alter that data? We would like to hear more LA views on

18.     One supplier commented that the LAs that struggle the most to provide
returns are those that are using a single system into which they input different
sets of data. The most successful LAs are those with data warehouses who
are therefore able to match and cleanse their data before submitting it.

19.     Another problem area is disability data – the definition of disability in
CIN is wider than before because of legislation changes. DCSF noted this

20.     Ownership of data is segmented even within Children’s Services and,
because of LA culture; it is likely to remain so. Different LAs have different
ownership structures. Different ownership leads to different expertise on
different software systems. This will happen even after ICS. LAs recognised
that it is going to be harder to change working practices than it is to change

21.     Ryan Murray (chair) asked suppliers whether there is a technical
solution to merging/manipulating different data sources into one file for XML
transfer. One supplier mentioned that they may be able to provide a facility to
load a csv file into the system and then produce an XML file. DCSF would be
interested to hear from other suppliers on this issue.

22.     Hampshire LA said providing a csv to XML converter would be very
helpful to LAs. At least one supplier agreed, given that a lot of data are stored
in Excel.

23.    Toni Margiotta (ICS) reminded participants that the CIN specification
assumes that there is a single system and that it is not burdensome to
produce XML. Local authority feedback seems to be challenging one or both
of these assumptions. We need to ascertain what the national situation is.
Culturally, not all local authorities will get ICS as their master system in time
for CIN; therefore a converter would be useful in the short-term. There is a
movement towards integration in Children’s Social Care overall.

Action 3: DCSF to investigate the potential need for a CSV to XML converter
and escalate to the CIN Census Project Board.

Mapping of code sets
24.    Local authorities are concerned that for some data items different
codes are used by the department to those used by the LAs. Mapping will be
required but those suppliers present confirmed again that this is not an issue.

Action 4: DCSF offered to have individual conversations with suppliers and
LAs to resolve any issues that may arise in the mapping of DCSF codes to
supplier codes.

25.    For example, Leicestershire LA commented that the service type
values specified in CIN are not exactly the same as the ones that they use.
On further discussion, it seems the codes are comparable, just different
values. This does not appear to be an issue in mapping.

26.    The conversation moved on to the definition of an open case status –
different LAs have different views as to the definition and these may again
differ from the views of social workers.

27.    For example, a looked after child placed in another local authority is
regarded as an open case in the receiving LA even though the placing LA has
responsibility for that child. Therefore, the child could potentially be counted
twice. In this case, the LA without responsibility should regard the case as a
contact, not a referral and not count it in CIN.

Action 5: DCSF to provide further clarifications on the definition of an open
case in both the CIN Guidance and FAQs.

28. Suppliers confirmed they would like to use a centrally-generated XSLT.
The preferred delivery date is the end of July 2008.

Action 6: DCSF to confirm if the timescales are achievable.

Testing Facilities
29.    DCSF plans to deliver the test blade for COLLECT in mid-July.

30.    Leicestershire LA asked DCSF to confirm that not being able to provide
open case information, for example, would not invalidate the whole return.
DCSF confirmed that COLLECT will not physically stop it. DCSF are ready
and willing to talk to individual LAs about the difficulties they face.

2009-10: Inclusion of CPR3 and other requirements (Steve Ward, DCSF)
31.    The exercise to include CPR3 in CIN is still going through the formal
approval process within the Department.

32.    Why include CPR3 in CIN? Every child subject to a child protection
plan is in need; therefore it is efficient to incorporate the return at child level
from 2009-10. The current aggregate CPR3 return will continue in 2008-09
and analysis will remain as in previous years.

33.    The initial data requirements and proposal have been drafted (see
Appendix B of these notes). A focus group for LAs has been established –
several members of this focus group attend today’s IT supplier meeting.

34.    Steve Ward (DCSF) explained that converting an aggregate return to
individual-level involves finding out what individual-level definitions are
required to reproduce the existing aggregate data. Work is still ongoing on
how to define which children should be counted and which dates to provide
records for. Those present confirmed that the necessary individualised
information should already be held by local authorities.

35.    Issues to explore included:
      Dates from the previous year;
      Aligning with the National Indicator Set;
      How to collect dates and times for calculating National Targets which
       does not put too much burden on LAs, suppliers or DCSF.

36.    Hampshire LA stressed that the Department needs to ensure that all
local authorities are on a level playing field for performance indicators with the
use of concessionary days.

37.    Some local authorities treat concessionary da ys as bank holidays;
some leave it up to the individual how to use their days; others have no idea
about them at all. DCSF is to further investigate the national picture.

38.    Local authorities also differ on how they count working days, e.g., if
something comes in at 5.15 on a Friday afternoon, does it get assigned to that
Friday’s working day or the following Monday’s? One LA system, for
example, records all the possible options for which working day a case can be
assigned to. Other systems leave it up to the discretion of the worker to input
whatever date.

Action 7: Steve Ward (DCSF) to compile a short questionnaire covering
these issues (out-of-hours and concessionary days) to send to suppliers.

COLLECT: online demonstration (Jenny Simpson, DCSF)
39.    There followed a demonstration of COLLECT from the user’s point-of-
view. It was noted that the example provided to suppliers was on a schools-
based collection but the principles are the same for CIN census. Every
COLLECT user gets their own username and password.

One LA asked if it was possible to upload data to COLLECT on a monthly
basis thereby reducing the burden of a once -a-year collection. Unfortunately,
there is no ability within COLLECT to upload in chunks and accumulate data
throughout the year. The reason for this is that we want to make every
attempt to avoid double-counting – allowing monthly uploads would not
guarantee this. LAs may want to consider cumulatively loading data into a
central holding area within the LA before it is loaded into COLLECT as a
single file.

Children Looked After return (Anne-Gaelle Roche, DCSF)
40.     Some changes to codes for the CLA SSDA903 return for 2008-09 were
highlighted. For placement postcodes outside England, either enter the
country code or enter the postcode itself and the system will automatically
work out which country it is from. None of the proposed changed posed any
problems for suppliers.

Action 8: Strengths & Difficulties questionnaire – DCSF to e-mail suppliers
when format of identifiers agreed.

AOB/Date of next meeting
41.     There was no other business. Suppliers and LA representatives at the
meeting felt the group ought to meet next around June or even July rather
than any earlier. Aspa Palamidas (DCSF) said a short questionnaire would
be put together for group members to complete asking them for their feedback
on these meetings. Responses would determine timings of future meetings.

Action 9: DCSF to e-mail questionnaire to suppliers.

Action 10: DCSF to arrange the group’s next meeting later in 2008.
                            Appendix A- Attendees
External attendees
Anite, Helen Golding & Elaine O'Leary
CACI, Paul Nevulis
Capita, Paul Kennedy
Corelogic, Keith Thomas
in4tek Ltd, Barry Speed
Leeds County Council, Naminder Soorma
Leicestershire LA, Dave Isaac & Jayesh Kavia
OLM, James Dodd
LA focus group representatives:
Hampshire LA, Simon Cull
Surrey LA, Annette Platt & Stella King
Durham County Council, Reg Partington
Esprit Ltd, Chris Andrew
Liquidlogic, Darren Smith
SAP (UK) Ltd, Sean O'Callaghan

DCSF attendees & contact details:
Isabella Craig (policy contact),
Ryan Murray (chair),
Aspa Palamidas (development contact),
Justin Rashid (customer services contact),
Steve Ward (technical contact),
Michael Ellis
Toni Margiotta
Angela Matthews
Gwen McGill
Anne-Gaelle Roche (CLA)
Jenny Simpson (COLLECT)
             Appendix B
Handout – DRAFT Proposed Data Set for
        CPR3 Data Collection
Proposed Data Set for CPR data collection

The following table lists a proposed set of data items to replace the current, aggregated CPR3 return with individualised records. Please note:

       this is a DRAFT for discussion, a formal specification will be issued in due course
       some of the data items are already collected, either by the CIN census or as part of the SSDA903. DCSF will not be duplicating the
        collection of items unless analysis shows that the sets of records covered (i.e. the scope) are different.

              Item Name                          Format                   ICS         CIN 08-09    SSDA903                   Notes
Child table
LA Child ID                          Free format, 10 characters                                      
Gender                               Gender code                                                     
Date of Birth                        Date                                                            
Expected Date of Birth               Date                                                
Child Ethnicity                      Ethnicity code                                                         CIN 08-09 as for the 903, e.g. A1.
                                                                                                               CBDS codes, e.g. WBRI from 09-10
Referral table
Referral Date                        Date                                                
Initial Assessment Start Date        Date                                  
Initial Assessment End Date          Date                                  
Core Assessment Start Date           Date                                  
Core Assessment End Date             Date                                  
Section 47 Enquiry Start Date        Date                                  
Date of Initial Child Protection     Date                                  
Child Protection Plan table

Plan Sequence Number                  Number (max 2 digits)              Generated           ?                     Comparable to “Number of
                                                                                                                   Previous Child Protection Plans” in
Child Protection Plan Start Date      Date                                                  
Child Protection Plan End Date        Date                                   
Category of Abuse                     Category of Abuse code                                                    Code set
Legal Status Code                     Code set                                                                   Mapping between ICS codes and
                                                                                                                   903 codes required
Placement Code                        Code set                                                                   Mapping between ICS codes and
                                                                                                                   903 codes required

Review table

Plan Review Date                      Date                               Derivable                                 There can be more than one Plan
                                                                                                                   Review Date for each CPP

Next Steps
The proposed data set will be subject to consultation ad further analysis. Once this is complete DCSF will publish a formal specification that
includes a more detailed description of the data. It will also define the criteria by which a full set of records should be extracted from a Local
Authority ICS system.

Data Services Group
January 2008

Shared By: