Good news, bad news....
Good news - my previous posting (12:21) has attracted several responses, which was what I asked for after all.
Bad news - not one of them has attempted to provide the sort of constructive viewpoint I was asking for. And at least one (yes Pat, I mean you) doesn't appear to have sufficient command of English to understand anything I was saying.
Actually there was one suggestion - thank you to AC 13:37 - but it misses the whole point.
"Wouldn't it be simpler and cheaper for childcare professionals to simply presume that any child they have contact with may have previously been contacted by other agencies, and then simply contact those agencies to see if they have any active cases?"
In a simpler world that might be feasible, but, rightly or wrongly, there are numerous local agencies which might have contact a child (do you ring round every GP and A&E in the area to see if they've had the child in to deal with injuries?), and social workers and the like, whatever you may think of them, have very busy workloads. Can you see why this isn't an option?
To AC 13:27 who claims the gift of "second site" (sic) and wants me to grow up, well, what can i say? My views on the problem ContactPoint is attempting to address are not derived from "lying, cheating MPs" (does it occur to you that you may be confusing your issues a bit?) but from other (and in my view more reliable) sources. Of course the system will only be as good as the use that is made of it, it's only a tool like any other. But perhaps you were taught to think this way at the Universtiy of the Bleedin Obvious?
You suggest I "extol the virtues of this system". Emmm.....where? I actually say that CP may be the wrong answer. If you want to comment on my posts can I suggest you try not to make stuff up as you go along.
ElFatbob - You suggest the prior question is to ask if CP is the solution to the problem. Emmm....I take it Business Analysis isn't one of your strong points? You have to define the problem before looking at solutions. i was trying make sure that we were all talking about the same problem.
You also, along with many many others here, want to condemn all government IT projects out of hand. <sarcasm>Because, as we all know, all public IT projects are total failures whereas the private sector is a shining example of success every single time.</sarcasm>.
Blinkers off please. Some IT projects, public and private, fail, some succeed, most muddle through. Why doesn't the media report on successful government IT projects? Do you really need me to answer that question?? Can I suggest you seek your views on the world from sources beyond the Daily Fail.
BTW, I am open minded about these things. I do not believe that personal data should be captured and held unless there is a demonstrable reason for doing so. For which reason I am vehemently opposed to the NIS and ID cards, and I pay my subscription to NO2ID because of that belief. Equally I find this obsession with government IT systems bewildering. The big Credit Reference Agencies hold scary quantities of data about each and every one of us, and are not subject to the sort of external scrutiny that government departments are. You'd do well to be worried about them too.
And then there's Pat. Oh Pat, thank you, you gave me the best laugh I've had all day.
I'm guessing that I'm quite a bit older than you. When I was at school we had to do something called comprehension tests. To prove that when we read something we'd taken it all in and understood the message within the text. You didn't have them, did you? Or if you did your poor teachers must have despaired.
Read my post again. Try - really try - to understand what the words mean. Maybe you'll find a grown-up to help you. Then look at your response again. And tell me, in simple terms, which bit of my text says that I believe all children must go on the database.
And that's why I won't be able to tell you what my reason is for wanting all children on CP - because I don't think that and I've never said it. Once.
OK guys, I'll have one more go. In nice simple language that (maybe) even Pat can understand.
Victoria Climbie and Baby P (and many other less high profile cases) have shown there is a business need for childcare professionals to be aware of the contacts a child has with other services. Does anyone want to dispute that?
If that's accepted there are two basic choices - do nothing, and leave things as they are, or do something.
Personally I don't think doing nothing is an option. Doing 'something' probably involves several strands, many of which are not technology related - better training, structural reorganisation within local authorities, changes to working practices etc. Each may make some improvements, but none is a definitive 'solution'.
So can technology also play a part in building up these improvements? DCSF have said yes to that and ContactPoint, rightly or wrongly, is part of their answer (there are other systems too). It's easy to point out the flaws in CP, as so many above have done. But does anyone have a positive suggestion for how technology could be used more benificially?
I will tell you one thing - the concept of ContactPoint is actually welcomed by a large number of local authority staff working in this field. Whether that welcome lasts when faced with the reality of the system remains to be seen. But the need for what CP is trying to do, as opposed to the CP system itself, should not be doubted.
Can we have a "I'm fed up explaining the same thing over and over to morons" icon please?