Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Tonic For Troubled Families – lessons from the Lowlands

by Gordon McKenzie

The laudable initiative to do something about the social and financial cost of supporting vulnerable families in the UK is a symptom of challenges facing government agencies over the world. In the Netherlands, it is estimated that up to one third of funds to support this challenge are consumed by inter agency collaboration, pulling all relevant facts and information together - this is a massive cost but one that highlights the issue that many agencies face, its not that the processes are broken in themselves, more that the gaps between then do not reflect the reality of life in a family struggling to deal with difficult issues. It’s a human problem, not suited to today’s systems and often ownership of the problem, or even detecting that there is a problem is a challenge for today’s silo oriented systems.

Just like a recent project we became involved in ‘Regizorg’, meaning regional care was designed to address this issue in Deventer in the Netherlands. Inspired by a visionary community leader, Be Informed used a set of knowledge models to create a way of identifying troubled families, making a risk assessment of their status, and then creating a treatment plan to help them recover under the care of the local government agency and its partners in the wider community including central agencies, private companies and local charities. The power of using knowledge models for such a solution is that they are ideally suited to cross agency information sharing and analysis, and can also ‘learn’ as new patterns or symptoms can be added readily to the system.

More information: Be Informed’s Troubled Family Solution.