The QAF recommends that practitioners use the information summarised in the Child Overview as the starting point for casework, case planning activities, and conversations with children and young people.
The QAF recognises that data is everywhere, but that it can often be confusing or incomplete.
That’s why the QAF gives practitioners regular and timely information to help track how children and young people are going over time to improve their safety, permanency and wellbeing.
We’ve identified factors linked with outcomes for children and young people in OOHC through the domains of safety, permanency and wellbeing.
The Child Overview obtains information relevant to these factors and uses it to show us the link between potential risk factors, protective factors, interventions and outcomes.
The Child Overview is not simplistic, meaning that meeting an indicator is not an automatic indication of a ‘good’ outcome. This is because a single indicator, like the existence of an education, health or cultural plan, does not provide a meaningful measure of wellbeing on its own.
A clear picture only emerges when this is considered alongside other information such as a carer’s report on the child’s mental health, a child’s own feelings regarding his or her safety, and/or connection to family and community.
The Child Overview is designed to provide meaningful information to support decision‐making and good practice, rather than replace professional judgement and expertise.
A practitioner should still interrogate the information to see which practices have produced good outcomes and whether or not they were beneficial.
The key to effective use of the Child Overview is to analyse the information and plan how to respond to it, such as by making a referral to another specialist service, or providing direct help.