The development of a computer-based information system to inform social work interventions with unaccompanied minors
This article describes the development of an information system, built in order to monitor the data gathered in the context of a pilot project for early child protection interventions with unaccompanied minors. The project included multidisciplinary expert teams, that carried out interviews with children and young people from the moment of their arrival on the Italian territory, assessing their strengths and needs. A comprehensive information system was developed with the extensive input of social workers, applying a participatory approach. Pre-existing forms for data collection and social work assessment tools had been analyzed and modified to include specific variables, addressing the unaccompanied minors’ needs. The system included quantitative variables (characteristics of children and families, their journey to Italy and the child welfare interventions) and qualitative data (written professional evaluation). The goal has been the construction of a user-friendly information system, adaptable to other social services working with unaccompanied minors. It can improve the understanding of the phenomenon and support the evaluation of the child protection paths devoted to them.
Information system, unaccompanied minors,participatory approach, social work practice, child welfare.