Molly's Puzzle

Innovators
Using data analytics to protect vulnerable children
Watch: Molly's Puzzle How data fusion can protect children
 
 
Across the dedicated child protection teams in the UK, there is an active desire to do things differently to reach greater numbers of vulnerable children. In the UK in 2019, there were nearly 60,000 children on the Child Protection Register or subject to a Protection Plan, according to the NSPCC. With the number of children needing help increasing and resources remaining restricted, this challenge will only
grow harder.
 
Information about children at risk is spread across different systems in different organisations. Currently, existing data-sharing processes only kick in when serious ‘red-flag’ events are seen and a threshold of risk is breached. If a child is subject to multiple mid-to-low risk events over a sustained period of time, it is hard to see the developing picture unless and until a single event breaches that threshold. As a result, it is easy for vulnerable children to slip through the safety net. We wanted to help spot children at risk earlier and avoid getting to the red flag stage wherever possible.
 
The development of this tool is an example of BAE Systems using deep-rooted data expertise. This is a partnership of people passionate about protecting children. But it’s how the tool has been used by the police and social services which has made the difference.

Ravi Gogna

, Consultant, Applied Intelligence
 
BAE Systems is a world leader in bringing together disparate pieces of data and making sense of them. We have been doing it for commercial organisations and government for years. So, a simple question was asked - why can’t we do the same for child protection?
 
In partnership with a number of child protection organisations, we have tailored our existing data fusion tool - NetReveal® - to analyse the vast amounts of available data. This provides a more holistic view of the possible risks to the child, and indicates to Child Protection Practitioners (CPPs) those children likely to be at risk, enabling early intervention.
 
In 2019, we set up a Child Protection Information Analytics pilot with Gloucestershire’s Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub, gathering data from all relevant agencies. In just four hours, NetReveal analysed three years’ worth of data containing over 100 risk indicators and 50 free text fields automatically and concurrently. It brought together all the available information, analysed and presented it back in a single place.
 
Now CPPs are able to see patterns ‘hidden’ in the data in minutes that would otherwise have been difficult or almost impossible to detect without countless hours of manual investigation.