Three local authorities have completed pilots of a new computerised child protection system which launches nationally today.
The Ryogens system allows agencies to share information on 'at risk' children in order to deal with problems early. It has been running in three local authorities - Tower Hamlets, Warwickshire and Lewisham - since February.
The system allows police, social services and other child welfare services to record concerns about young people who are vulnerable or have potential problems.
Concerns are shared with other agencies, and alerts can be triggered if sufficient incidents are logged.
Youth Offending Teams in Tower Hamlets have worked alongside police and education workers to target problem cases.
"We wanted a system that allowed early identification of problem children to implement the best possible course of action for prevention of future offending," said Jacqueline Wye, manager of the Family Support Centre in Tower Hamlets.
The range of indicators detailing possible problems was drawn up in conjunction with the child welfare agencies, explained Denbigh Cowley, Ryogens national programme director.
Local authorities will set the number of concerns logged and the weight attached to these concerns, with alerts automatically generated when certain levels are reached.
"We can configure the system to suit whichever problems are of particular concern in a certain area," said Cowley.
Ryogens is a web-based system hosted from a secure data centre, making it relatively simple for child welfare agencies to implement.
The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister funded the pilots. Local authorities wishing to use the system can purchase a licence for £25,000, and can share the cost across however many agencies wish to participate.
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