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Future Directions - Multi-agency pilot project lifts off

After three months of planning, the Patchwork pilot was recently launched across five councils in Victoria.

Patchwork, a simple web application that promises to transform the way governments interact with vulnerable families in maternal health, child health and youth services, was developed and implemented by FutureGov, a UK-based agency that builds digital products for local public services.

The idea behind Patchwork is that professionals are better able to provide services to a client when they understand and communicate with the whole team around the client. This adds value because each person working with a client can be on the look out on behalf of other agencies and can communicate with those agencies in a quick and simple way.

The first round of invites for practitioners into the system focused on those working with five pilot councils: Kingston, Yarra, Brimbank, Wyndham
and Melbourne.

Approximately 30 practitioners from a range of disciplines are involved, including maternal child health nurses, youth workers and family support workers.

With approximately 140 clients in the system and the five pilot councils now able to add their own clients, Patchwork is expected to grow over the following weeks and months in Victoria as more organisations sign up.

Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) President Bill McArthur said Patchwork was a simple social technology solution to connect staff from different agencies working with clients in common.

“There is lots of work still to do to communicate and engage with these organisations and the pilot councils will work with the MAV to develop an approach to this and keep the momentum going.”

Councils have identified another 40 organisations they would like to see using Patchwork, including hospitals, community health services, schools, women’s refuges, child care facilities, youth and family support services, and mental health services.