An Exemplary Scheme? An Evaluation of the Integrated Children's System

I Shaw, M Bell, I Sinclair, P Sloper, W Mitchell, P Dyson, J Clayden, J Rafferty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We outline selected central results from a formative evaluation of four pilot sites in England and Wales of the Integrated Children's System (ICS) - one part of the UK's e-Government strategy. We concentrate on the aspiration of the ICS towards 'integration' and 'systematization' of services within children's services, at local and national levels. We look in turn at, the use of the ICS as a foundation for aggregate statistical profiles, the experience and views of the social workers, and the implications of ICS for social work practice as exemplified in social workers' use of time. The evidence suggests substantial problems in accomplishing government policy aspirations in each of these areas. We review the likely reasons for these problems, and recommend a review of the ICS on the grounds that the difficulties are inherent rather than transitory, and have arisen at least in part from uncertainty as to whether the ICS is fit for purpose. The authors seek to promote the open and thoughtful debate that a major innovation of this nature requires.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)613-626
Number of pages14
JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2009


  • Integrated Children's System
  • children's services
  • ICT
  • policy implementation

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