"The government is pressing ahead with its "Integrated Children's System" despite a review of four pilot projects which call into doubt the database's design and its benefits - if any - for care workers.
The ICS review was carried out by two academics from the University of York and nine researchers. They examined progress in two local authorities in England and two in Wales.
The review of the database - which will include entries on any child with serious illness, disability or contact with social services - only came to light as the result of a Freedom of Information request by Action on Rights for Children...A DCSF spokesperson said: “ICS will help to ensure improved outcomes for children. That is why we are committed to seeing it implemented in all local authorities as soon as possible. Constructive feedback from local authorities and others – as captured by recent published research into ICS - is helping us to do that.”
Terri Dowty, director at Action on Rights for Children which made the Freedom of Information request, said: "ICS has got to work well. It will contain details of the needs of children with chronic illnesses and disabilities and, crucially, the care plans for those at risk of harm. If experienced social workers are saying that there are problems, these must be addressed before the system goes live. It is simply not good enough to ignore their concerns.""