The Department for Education (DfE) is looking for new digital solutions to support the adoption and fostering of children.
It has published a prior information notice calling on technology providers to take part in an informal consultation on the possibilities, indicating it could lead to a future procurement.
The move follows two reviews under the Fostering Better Outcomes programme, which prompted the department to run a digital discovery programme over eight weeks last year looking at how information flowed around the relevant services. This was followed by a more detailed technical discovery early this year.
The DfE said it now wants to engage with the market to understand the capabilities of software providers to integrate existing and new products and to define its own approach.
It is aiming to set up a working group to develop and test possible solutions over the next six months.
Among the issues it has taken into account is how the information flows for fostering and adoption overlap.
In May of last year the department indicated it had plans for a new Adoption Register, and this past April it suspended the use of the current version, directing local authorities to the Link Maker service run by a social enterprise of the same name.
The suspension prompted protests from the children’s charity Coram and an expression of concern from the House of Lords Secondary Legislation Scrutiny Committee.
Image by Inaki Perez de Albeniz, CC BY 2.0 through flickr