The Northern Territory government has awarded a tender for a $64.4 million project that will improve information sharing and coordination between government agencies in a bid to better protect vulnerable children.
The client management system, named Care System, will allow relevant entities — including NT Police, Territory Families, and the Housing and Communities, Health, Education, and Justice departments — to access the same information, create the one case file and share information in order to boost case management.
The government on Wednesday announced that UK-based software supplier LiquidLogic and NT company SRA have been engaged to work on the project, which is scheduled for completion in late 2022.
The connection between the relevant public and private sector organisations and their ability to access and update relevant information will be improved under the Care System, according to territory families and urban housing minister Kate Worden.
“A total of 72% of Territory Families, Housing and Communities’ core business is recorded outside of our approved computer system which is more than 25 years old,” she said.
“The creation of the Care System and the delivery of the program is all about it being based on the child. We want to make sure we are keeping up to date information on our vulnerable families, so we can assist quickly and proactively.”
The digital tool will also allow frontline staff to access key information at any time.
“The new Care System will give our hardworking frontline staff in child protection and youth justice the tools they need to better protect our most vulnerable children,” Worden said.
The government’s $64m investment in the digital solution is in response to findings and recommendations made by the royal commission into child protection and detention in the NT.
In its 2017 final report, the probe highlighted “database limitations” in the child protection and youth justice systems and potential improvements to data-sharing practices. It recommended that the territory government develop compatibility between data systems to enable efficient exchange of information.