Information Sources for the Local Children and Young People's Services Sector:A mapping study

Robert Smith, Helen Aston

12 September 2011

Executive Summary

The LG Group commissioned NFER to carry out a mapping study to inform the development of its online information, advice, guidance and data offer to local authorities. The aims of the study were to identify the information needs of Children and Young People's (CYP) services professionals, local government officers and elected members and to map the national data, research, policy and practice sources available to them.

To achieve this, NFER carried out interviews with 10 local government officers and 2 elected members working within children and young people's services from 10 local authorities (LAs) in England. We also searched for and reviewed key online information sources.

The key features of a good information source are: accuracy; timeliness; accessibility; ease of use; ability to meet the needs of different types of users; data that can be manipulated and a one-stop shop.

Key Findings

  • There is a wealth of different types of information on all CYP subject areas available to the sector and there does appear to be a case for considering further rationalisation of sources.
  • There was a far greater appetite for data among interviewees than for policy, practice or research, with the exception of the elected members interviewed who wanted a full range of information types.