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About Data Mastery

Data Mastery was funded by the Children's Social Care (CSC) COVID-19 Regional Recovery and Building Back Better Fund, and was delevloped for Essex County Council.

The 18 months from the start of the COVID-19 pandemic was an unprecedented and challenging time for the country and for children's social care. It is an enormous credit to social workers, frontline staff, and local leaders that services coped well during this period to ensure that children and families continue to be effectively supported. Local authorities (LAs) have shown considerable resilience and demonstrated how well they can adapt and collaborate.

LAs have also shown that even during a pandemic they can continue to innovate and improve services. Our Partners in Practice (PiPs) worked on a range of projects focused on COVID-19 recovery. Lead LAs have continued to support others joining the Strengthening Families programme, and Regional Improvement and Innovation Alliances have worked together to develop best practice on topics like virtual meetings and demand modelling.

But it is also clear that some of the challenges that faced the sector before the pandemic remain and have become even more pressing. Our collective response must have collaboration and regional working at its heart if we are to build back better, strengthening and increasing the resilience of the sector, and building firm foundations for future reform through the Care and SEND Reviews.

This recovery fund seeks to support LAs to work together as a region, identifying priorities for your area, choosing which well-evidenced innovations are important to you, and collaborating with the department to help us develop policy solutions for national priorities. To that end we have extended the funding previously limited to existing PiPs, so that all 49 LAs who are good and outstanding overall and across all sub-judgements can now bid for funding to develop practice solutions to challenges which have emerged or been exacerbated during the pandemic.

This project was funded as part of the "Digital Maturity Strategy" workstream, creating a tool for assessing local authority digital maturity in a CSC context, building on existing digital maturity tools.

Data Mastery was developed by Placecube Limited who host and support it. It has been used as a model for the latest versions of the LGA's Data Maturity and TIEx self-assessment tools. If you are looking to develop a self-assessment tool or for any further information and advice, contact enquiries@placecube.com.