Our technology enables the public and social sectors to better address the problems vulnerable people face in the UK and beyond.
We are hiring!
We are hiring Digital Labs Fellows with a focus on software and data science. See our jobs page for the full specification.
Why are we here?
Technology and data analysis can help government and social organisations provide better, more effective services.
We have seen through our work with local government that data and analysis can lead to drastic improvements in support for vulnerable people. However, this data is not often not used in day-to-day decisions.
There is a role for technology. Products that enable everyone, from CEOs to frontline staff,to access actionable and reliable analysis and insight from their data. Technology built by a team with a mission to improve outcomes for disadvantaged people.
What are we building?
Our technology enables public and social sector staff to ask and answer the questions that matter most.
Local authorities want to know when is it better to leave the child with their family or take them into care or what practice models and/or interventions will likely result in better long-term outcomes for a child.
To answer these types of questions we are building tools to:
- Improve front-door risk assessments – ensuring that signs of risk from other services are available to social workers and identifying how best to respond to need;
- Improve commissioning – helping service managers and social workers to identify need and procure the interventions which best address them;
- Monitor performance of individuals, teams, and whole services – allowing commissioners to provide services regular feedback to improve their effectiveness, gain cross comparable insight and deliver impactful services; and
- Simplify scenario planning, forecasting and budgeting – freeing up senior managers to lead by enabling quick and compelling business cases.
Where did we start?
We started with Children’s Services because it is one of the most important functions of local government.
At any one time, there are c. 440,000 children in England receiving social services support for a range of complex issues such as abuse, domestic violence, poverty, neglect, and disability or illness. Despite this responsibility, central funding for councils is falling.
Social Finance provided support to Children’s Services departments for more than five years. In 2014, we spoke to 40 leaders in Children’s Services to better understand the challenges and opportunities facing the sector. They repeatedly mentioned the need for data and analysis support to:
- Better commission and target services;
- Better align services to need;
- Better allocate resource to need;
- Better performance manage commissioned services;
- Better incorporate information from other services in risk assessments; and
- Better understand care leavers’ outcomes to improve their transitions into adulthood.
We share a mission to use technology for social change. Whether it’s developing tools or building models to solve complex social problems, we are always rethinking how to use our past skills and experiences.
So, to capture the importance of learning in our day-to-day work, we decided to call ourselves Fellows.
Our Fellows currently include: