Preventing children from being removed from their homes
Forty, Greenberry and Garage2020 set out to find a solution to keep vulnerable families together, preventing hardship and saving money.
The fully functional application is being tested in practice with social workers.
Our first step was a series of interviews with front-line professionals to pinpoint the exact problem. This led to a question: how can we create a proposition for professionals that helps them improve decisions in family interventions? A team drawn from across all partner organisations then started to shape the guiding principles of our first prototype.
How can we combine hard data with soft skills in the challenging environment of social work?
Which problem did we focus on?
Intervening in a troubled family situation is exceedingly tough. Social workers have to make painful decisions in pursuit of what’s best for the child. To improve the quality of these decisions, the Municipality of Amsterdam decided to gather data about a wide range of interventions. The challenge was then how to turn this abstract, hard data into a trusted solution that will be used on a day-to-day basis.
What solutions did we think of?
The answer was a combination of the physical and the digital: a game board with an app. Each intervention pathway is represented by a wooden counter, and when they are placed on the board, they create a visual timeline of all the intervention pathways deployed so far. The tokens are then identified as code via image recognition. Entering a photo of the game board into the app shows possible next steps.
How did the test with our MVP turn out?
In Q4 of 2019 we had the complete proposition ready and set for a pilot phase. A select group of social workers is equipped with the pilot version of both the board and the tablet application. They will be using them in their daily work while we collect feedback to further improve the proposition and work on a solid version for wide release.
Levi van Dam
Jeroen de Vries