Children's services mapping is an on-line data collection and reporting system that aims to provide information about services for children and young people in England. It is a source of information for anyone interested in children and maternity service provision and investment. Information is kept up-to-date through an annual data collection exercise that records change over time.
CSM works closely with the Child and Maternal Health Observatory (ChiMat), so strengthening its capacity to provide integrated intelligence that links information from a number of sources.
The purpose of the mapping exercise is to:
- Contribute to the monitoring of progress in the implementation of Every Child Matters, the Children's Plan, the Children's National Service Framework and related agendas
- Support local authorities, primary care trusts and other partners in developing joint commissioning strategies
- Support the development of Comprehensive Area Assessments (CAA)
- Support joint service planning, development and provision
- Act as a source of data for national, regional and local performance monitoring
- Assist in the bid for resources
- Facilitate local benchmarking
- Enable information on service outputs to be triangulated with data from other sources
- Provide annual updates for the development and maintenance of local service directories.
Children's Services Mapping collects and reports information about services, including: what is provided; for whom; how services are staffed; what policy objectives are being met and what activity is undertaken. Financial data is also gathered so that service provision can be linked to investment. With this comprehensive description of services, CSM data is used for monitoring performance at the level of individual services as well as organisationally, regionally and nationally.
All types of children's services are mapped except schools which are subject to a separate data collection exercise. The aim of the exercise is to create a description of all the services that fall under the responsibility of Children's Trusts, irrespective of which agency provides the services or how the services are commissioned/funded.
Some examples of mapping outputs are:
- A comprehensive view of services across child health, social services, education support and youth work to use as a basis for gaps analysis and service development
- A national overview of children's trust arrangements with information on the development of strategic partnerships and integrated governance against which your own arrangements can be compared
- Information on the relationship between services and key policy goals such as:the provision of targeted support to key vulnerable and disadvantaged groups; delivery of ECM outcomes; consultations with parents and families and their involvement in the planning and development of services; delivery of specialist and targeted services from universal settings, such as extended schools
- Information on investment in children's services to support the transparency of budgets and the development of joint commissioning
- Indicative trends in the proportion of investment spent on the delivery of services to be tracked year on year
- An overview of the total children's workforce and information on where services are being delivered by a staff team from a range of professional backgrounds
- A map of the contribution made by the 3rd and private sectors including the net inflow of resources to the local authority area.