PatchworkLets design better support for families together.
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Developed together with practitioners, Patchwork is a simple, secure web tool that connects professionals working with families.
What is it?
It allows practitioners from different organisations to quickly and simply access the contact details of other frontline staff working with their clients. In doing so it helps professionals to uncover the hidden network of practitioners around their clients, supporting frontline staff to connect and provide more joined up services.
We have implemented Patchwork for those working with children, supporting vulnerable adults and from the Autumn with practitioners supporting Troubled Families.
Patchwork is accompanied by a bespoke change programme delivered by FutureGov, which drives more coordinated support for children and families.
Patchwork connects not just the agencies but also the agents working with a family to one
another to promote multi agency working and a joined up approach.
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The Story So Far
From Child Protection to Troubled Families. Shocked and saddened as the details of the Baby Peter case emerged, we were struck by the missed connections between practitioners working with the family day to day. While the case was highly complex, it inspired us to ask a simple question: How can we design web tech with practitioners that connects them across their different organisations as they work to keep children safe?
To find a radical answer, we took a radical approach. Seed-funded by NESTA, we worked with practitioners from all agencies in Lichfield in Staffordshire to deeply understand the challenges they face. Our aim was to build a web tool entirely designed by and for the frontline staff who use it.
Above all else, practitioners said they want to know who is working with their clients. We designed to this simple brief and trialled the Patchwork prototype in Lichfield, with practitioners working with children and those working with vulnerable adults, to encouraging early feedback.
Since the trial, Patchwork has been further backed by NESTA and Nominet Trust, with additional investment from our partners at Staffordshire County Council, and we continue to develop the tool. Initially designed around children, we have responded to practitioners feedback and are making the tool connect professionals around a whole family rather than just individuals.Accordingly, Patchwork is now being rolled out in Staffordshire as part of the countys Troubled Families programme. Brighton and Hove council has also implemented Patchwork, supported by our ongoing bespoke change management programme and feeding into its development.
Together we are building a movement for change, creating a new way of designing, prototyping and implementing technology-led organisational change within local government.
Investment from Staffordshire County
Council as they became partners in Patchwork.
Implemented in Brighton and Staffordshire, where we continue to work with practitioners
Conducted research with practitioners to understand some of the challenges. Gained valuable insights about the importance of networks and flexible, lightweight technology and high case loads.
Patchwork is easy and delightful to use, designed with users at the heart.
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Designing with our partners
We believe that design should be done with and not done to people. Thats why
the further development of the Patchwork app remains an open and collaborative
By becoming a partner, your local authority can contribute to the direction in
which the technology evolves. The app will continue to be developed together
with practitioners and clients, as well as technology and information governance
leads, to ensure that the roadmap responds to the needs of the people we are
working to support.
By involving staff from the beginning it allows them to both design something
that meets their needs and more easily adopt new and sustainable ways of
working. We believe this is quite different from the traditional software suppliers
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Add and maintain client contact details
Practitioners can quickly and easily maintain details on their clients. It is simple to update - meaning that practitioners can access live and up to date information at all times.
See at a glance who else is working with their clients and how to contact them
Patchwork reveals the team of practitioners working with their client - meaning practitioners are able to instantly know who to connect with to join together the services they provide.
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Invite others into the clients team
Its not always easy to know how to go about referring a client to another service, and practitioners can spend hours trying to find the right team, or the right person to speak to. Patchwork can invite others into a clients network in a matter of clicks.
Alert others when they have concern about a client
Working in different organisations and locations makes it difficult for practitioners to share the niggling concerns that they have about a client. Patchwork allows them share when they feel that a client needs extra attention.
Maintain their own contact details
Everyone works differently. Patchwork allows the practitioner to decide how they want to be contacted, and its simple for them to update their details if they change.
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Understanding the full picture
Patchwork connects practitioners so that together they can make decisions about the best support for their clients. Knowing who else is involved with a client helps a practitioner to understand how their support fits into that picture.
Getting the right people talking earlier leads to a better outcome for the client. Patchwork fills the gap before more formal thresholds like CAF and lets practitioners coordinate to stop escalation and the need for more resource.
Traditionally rigid silos can be broken down quickly by knowing who is in the picture - and having made contact, practitioners can quickly establish relationships across organisations, helping to better deliver services together.
Patchwork has been designed to make life easier for frontline staff, so that they dont have to waste time calling around, trying to find out which other agencies are working with their client. It means less time at their desk, and more time to spend with people.
Benefits. Why is it good?
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Change and implementation
Were realistic about what it takes to make change happen - and make it stick. We are experienced in managing change in complex environments and can work closely with you to implement Patchwork. We are not your normal supplier. With a background in local government, we believe in delivering Patchwork in genuine partnership with councils. Our approach is flexible and we adapt it to suit your organisations needs; there are four elements:
Defining your needs
Initially we will work with you to understand how Patchwork fits into your overall strategy and to plan implementation. Factors like which partner agencies to involve when; the numbers of practitioners and families; current ways of working; existing technology used; and data sharing practices all affect how we implement Patchwork and vary between local authority area. We will work with you to identify these factors and create a solid plan for implementation.
The Patchwork App
The app is at the heart of our offer and will be switched on at the right time for the right groups of practitioners.
Bespoke change programme
We use our change management expertise to support the implementation of Patchwork. Tailored with you, we offer engagement and communications support to increase practitioners take-up of the tool; codesign and product development, allowing you to have a say in Patchworks future; impact evaluation, building the case for wider change; ongoing project management; total cost analysis of interventions; mapping the familys journey; culture change activities; and other bespoke support according to your organisations needs.
We offer ongoing technical support, updates and fixes, user manuals and guides, as well as community management with practitioners