Delivering an award-winning digital service for London’s local authorities

Working with FutureGov to transform children’s social care in Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster councils.

The project

Across three London boroughs, care workers can spend on average 60% of their time managing data in legacy systems, leaving little time to spend with the families and young people most in need. The councils wanted to transform how they used technology to enhance child protection and allow families to own their stories, rather than just rely on a case worker’s notes.

Photo showing an aerial photo of Victorian houses in the uk
Photo of a woman showing a tablet screen to a man and a child

Our approach

Following FutureGov’s discovery phase of user research to understand the current experience of social workers and families and rapid prototyping, Made Tech joined the project to support the alpha build of an Open API first platform of accessible tools, open for integration by default. This involved using an agile approach to test and iterate based on feedback from families and social workers. 

Working alongside FutureGov and the councils, we built ‘FamilyStory’, an open platform of accessible digital tools for social care that uses modern government platforms, such as GOV.UK Notify for SMS. It is optimised for mobile, so it can be used collaboratively onsite. It also has offline capability, so it doesn’t require an internet connection to work and syncs when a connection is available. 

FamilyStory helps social workers and partner agencies to build a picture of need for each family, enabling them to manage risk and make informed decisions. It also reduces the time they spend on administrative tasks, so they can focus more on working directly with families in need.

Local digital laptop

“We will design safe, secure and useful ways of sharing information to build trust among our partners and citizens, to better support the most vulnerable members of our communities and to target our resources more effectively.”

From the Local Digital Declaration

The results

FamilyStory aims to increase productivity within children’s services by up to 30% and improve the ability for families and social workers to collaborate. It has reduced report writing, increased practitioners’ time with families and improved collaboration between social workers and professionals. As a result, FamilyStory & the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea won the ‘Best Public Sector IT Project’ at the annual UK IT Industry Awards.

  • An open platform of social care tools
  • Voted “Best Public Sector IT Project” in 2019
  • Agile delivery of a new digital service
  • Collaborative delivery by various bodies
  • Up to 30% increase in productivity
  • Reduced report writing and administration
  • More time spent with families in need
  • Transparent stories, owned by families

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