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Monitoring 'at risk' children

FROM: jacqui jacobsen

What NEED does this meet?
Social Services and children on their 'at risk' register.

What is the APPROACH?
My idea is to utilise the existing technology used in 'virtual parenting' programmes, and develop a wrist band or ankle band for babies or small children who are on the Social Services 'at risk' register.

Under the 'Baby Think It Over' scheme (a virtual parenting programme offered by some councils to schools) computerised, life-like models of a baby, which record levels of care and attention provided by the carer, are given to young people to educate them on the implications of responsible parenting.

My idea is to utilise the electronic programme used in these computerised 'babies' (or develop a similar one) and then develop a wrist band or anklet to incorporate this electronic chip. This band could then be attached to a child to monitor the child's care and would obviously have to be tamper proof. By attaching an ID tag to a parent/carer's wrist, it can also be monitored which parent/carer is handling the baby (this ID tag has already been developed and is used in the existing programme).

If nothing else it may make parents/carers think twice about losing their temper and, say, shaking a child, if they knew it was going to show up on an electronic monitor. If a bracelet or anklet could be developed that incorporated this electronic technology, it could be offered on a voluntary basis to parents who are genuinely wishing to improve their parenting and keep their children with them at home. I would imagine that if it wasn't offered on a voluntary basis, it could no doubt be said to be infringing all sorts of civil rights and liberties.

What are the BENEFITS to people?
This idea could help Social Services, whose resources are already stretched,
as part of a programme to help keep 'at risk' children with their parents, rather than them being placed in care or fostering. This could potentially make the lives of the social workers, parents/carers and children on the 'at risk' register easier, as well as easing pressure on fostering and care facilities.

What is the COMPETITION?
I do not know of any similar services or whether this idea is viable - the idea came to me after reading an appeal by the NSPCC.

What BUDGET & LOGISTICS are required?
Absolutely no idea, but the technology appears to have originally been developed in the USA.

November 20, 2003 | Permalink

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