Challenge

As part of their $500 million Safe Home for Life reforms in child protection and for children in care, the New South Wales Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) needed technology to support their child protection programme, ChildStory. They wanted digital solutions that made it easier and quicker to get the most important things done for children in care.

12

choices generated

4

digital prototypes

Approach

Rather than buy an off-the-shelf solution, we advised FACS to invest in a “prototype-to-procure” process that would provide them with bespoke digital solutions built around their needs.

FutureGov supported the insight, service design, tech strategy and digital prototyping elements of the pre-procurement process and also set out the various possibilities. This gave the Department enough confidence to create new technology that underpinned their service delivery model.

The design and the way we approached it has led to a market response that is much better than a lot that I’ve been involved in, because they were so well informed about what we wanted.

Greg Wells

Program Director, Child Story

We spoke to children in care, their families, carers and care professionals to discover the key challenges within the care system. We also looked to understand which digital tools could make a positive difference to their lives.

From this research we have rapidly prototyped three solutions:

  • a web application that helps a child and a parent plan, design and provide feedback to their own contact sessions
  • an interactive tool to help young people and caseworkers co-create ‘life plans’ when leaving care
  • a collaborative client record (case management) that’s fit for the future, which both the professional and individual can view

Impact

Alongside partners at The Australian Centre for Social Innovation, we helped FACS demonstrate the potential for elegant, human-centred digital solutions that improve support for children in care. This brave new approach is the first of its kind in Australia and one of the biggest reforms ever in the southern hemisphere. It’s helped de-risk a $100 million IT programme for a state four times the size of the United Kingdom.

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