Patchwork uses social technology to join up the team around the family – leading to earlier interventions and better outcomes for families. Initially developed in response to the Baby Peter tragedy, we’ve been working closely with users and front line staff to design a tool and approach that helps to reveal the network of practitioners working with a child or family.
Having started out researching child protection in Westminster, we developed a prototype app with Lichfield and Staffordshire Councils which has now also been rolled out to Brighton and Hove City Council. None of which could have been possible without our investors NESTA, Nominet Trust and Staffordshire County Council and partners.
When we started out, front line staff told us a huge barrier to them working collaboratively with other agencies was that they simply didn’t know which local organisations were also involved in their clients’ lives – and if they were, who they should contact in those organisations. In response, we worked directly with practitioners to design an application that allows them to see exactly who else is working with their clients and how to get in touch revealing previously hidden professional social networks around a family.
Having started out in children’s services, Patchwork is evolving into other areas where multi- agency working is a challenge – whether that’s providing support to vulnerable adults or tackling domestic violence or homelessness.
Our work is constantly evolving, using an open design approach that engages with practitioners and families themselves to ensure the most appropriate approach to challenges such as security and the sharing of information.
Patchwork launched to the wider local government sector in September 2012.