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Invitation to shape guidance on data analytics in Children’s Social Care

Survey for children's social workers: Data, analytics, and co-design...

A number of local authorities are already aggregating data on children and families to help them deliver and plan services - this is known as data analytics.

It seems likely that more local authorities will follow. These techniques have possibilities but also raise practical, legal and ethical issues. This is a chance for you as a social worker, manager or senior leader who is currently or has previously worked in children’s social work, to make your voice heard and shape the debate.

The Department for Education (England) has commissioned the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation (an advisory body to the government, working in the public sector) to develop guidance for local authorities.

It is planned that the guidance will propose ways that local authorities design tools collaboratively with social workers, and children and families throughout the process of introducing data analytics in their services (if that is what they plan to do).

The Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation wants to ensure that the experience, expertise and preferences of social workers are reflected in the guidance. Part of this work is understanding the experience of social workers and consequently, there are no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answers.

** Survey for children's social workers: Data, analytics, and co-design **

The survey contains 32 questions and takes between 10 - 15 minutes to complete. All responses are confidential.

The first section asks about social workers' use of data in their work. The second section asks about their experience of data analytics. The final section is focused on social workers' attitudes towards, and experiences of co-design with digital technology. Any queries, or interest in being involved in this project, should be directed to Jessica Smith ( 

BASW is promoting the survey to help social workers influence this important issue. Any questions in the questionnaire and any resulting conclusions are not necessarily endorsed by BASW.

The closing date for responses is Thursday 22 September.