Catalysing the 'Village around the Child'

by David Van der Velde working at Civinet responding to Digital Security for All

I am interested in exploring

Our project aims to empower families by giving them control over their data and better access to the information they need to manage interventions from public/voluntary sector services (health, SEND, social care) where those services are engaged to address an identified need or concern about their child or vulnerable adult.

We're exploring the potential to provide a secure, data compliant solution to improve engagement, communications and coordination of interventions that improve the wellbeing of the ‘system around a child’ and build the capacity of families to meet their own needs.

Our focus is on the needs of the family - connecting all members of the system in an ongoing ‘conversation‘ , helping to tap into latent strengths, capture data about changing needs, track interventions and concerns and provide agencies with the context that is vital to making effective interventions.

My motivation is

Many families have multiple support services involved and feel disempowered and confused, experiencing ‘assessment fatigue’ as multiple workers come and go and multiple assessments are undertaken sometimes with little discernible improvement in well-being from the family’s perspective.

When agencies make decisions based on the data they hold in silos that are inaccessible to the people about whom the decisions are being made, the way that data is interpreted is prone to biases that can amplify disadvantage.

An effective solution that empowers families and professionals by improving communications and information sharing, creating a sense of shared accountability and shared power in the system around a shared purpose can have a significant impact on the capacity of families to manage interventions, improve outcomes for children and reduce stress on public services.

Project focus

I want to focus on:

  • Recognition
  • Enablement & Radical Trust
  • Accountability & Care
  • Proactive Resilience and Reparation


I am looking for an academic partner in:

  • Data science & engineering
  • Arts and Humanities

I am looking for a partner in these sectors:

  • Public Sector
  • Third Sector

I am looking to work in these areas:

  • Education
  • Social care
  • Charity
  • Artificial Intelligence and/or Machine Learning
  • Children and young people

Sandpit events

I am going to: Newcastle, February 27th 2020


Catalyst facilitates collaborations between Not-Equal Network+ members, who wish to develop and submit a research project in response to Not-Equal’s second Call for Collaborative Proposals. Search for initial project ideas and get in touch with potential collaborators.