Dhanda: £13 Million For Mobile Technology To Support Children’s Social Workers

Children’s social workers will receive a £13 million boost to help pay for Information and Communication Technology (ICT), through funding announced today by Children’s Minister Parmjit Dhanda.

The money is aimed at helping the social care workforce change and adapt to new ways of working and to keep in step with developing technologies. Advances in technology are already having an impact on the social care sector and this capital grant will help employers invest in the latest mobile ICT, including laptops and Personal Digital Assistants.

Government is tackling the problems faced by the sector through the Options for Excellence review, undertaken jointly by the Department for Education and Skills and Department of Health. The review informs policy developments relating to England’s social care workforce in the short, medium and long term and highlighted a need for extra money for ICT.

Children’s Minister Parmjit Dhanda said: “Supplying social workers with mobile technology will result in significant time savings, allowing more flexibility. This will ultimately result in social workers spending more time having face to face meetings with the people they are there to support – society’s most vulnerable children.

“Our vision for a modern, integrated social care workforce was set out in Every Child Matters, this £13 million grant will help the sector to continue adopting new and better ways of working.”

Guidance on spending the capital grant will be sent to Directors of Children’s Services at the end of March, to coincide with the publication of the Children’s Workforce Strategy Update – Spring 2007

The conditions of the grant are explicit on the subject of security – any mobile devices will need to have the appropriate security capabilities, and staff training must address this issue. The uploading or downloading of case data will be subject to the physical and programme security requirements applicable to the data concerned.