Suppose a teacher has recently been concerned about a student’s home situation. She suspects that care professionals are already involved. In order to make herself visible to these care professionals, to be able to collaborate and coordinate care for the student as needed, she issues a ‘signal’. This indicates her involvement with this youth.
In The Netherlands, this can be done through MULTI s ignaal, an application developed by a company of the same name, now part of Enovation. This is crucially important, because when these parties are not communicating with each we , consequences can be significant. Product manager Roberto Boscohas been successfully developing this application for ten years in collaboration with Scopisto. He tells us all about it.
The cases of Savanna from Alphen andthe Rotterdam ‘Maas girl’
In 2004, three-year-old Savanna became the victim of fatal domestic violence by her mother and stepfather . In 2006 , the 12-year-old Maas girl was killed by her father. In retrospect, both cases revealed that multiple caregivers were involved, but the information exchange between these parties. was woefully inadequate, resulting in these two harrowing stories. MULTIsignaal felt that this should never happen again. Together, these cases became the deciding factor in developing the application in 2008.
Roberto: “In order to prevent, as much as possible, we came up with MULTIsignaal. Our overarching goal is to solve major common problems with smart IT, for example with this application. Persons with so-called signaling authority indicate their involvement in theapplication.. They are matched with other involved youth care professionals or professionals involved with siblings of their client and get in touch with each other that way. Our application facilitates better collaboration between youth care professionals.”
Made for youth care professionals
After the sad cases of these two young girls, a change in the law required every municipality to implement a system designed to deal with cases of this kind. “Municipalities are free to choose, but by now about 70% in The Netherlands use our application. We are very proud of that. So municipalities are our main clients, but the application is made for teachers, district police officers, youth care professionals,, domestic violence professionals and all other social workers. They make the real difference; we’re just the IT facilitators.”
Platform as a Service
As product manager , is ultimately responsible for the technical realization of the application. He has been working on that successfully with Scopisto for about ten years .. “I am the bridge between our clients and the techpeople. We are an IT company without IT specialists. We have Scopisto for that . MULTIsignaal runs on a Platform as a Service solution managed by Scopisto, who programme in Java and React. We make the design, theytranslate it. It is a very pleasant collaboration. I’m quick to part ways with parties that don’t deliver quality so the longevity of our collaboration is really saying something. It starts with trust in the professionalism of people and I certainly have that trustin Michiel’s party.
Data from vulnerable groups
Much of the application’s focus is on security. ““Within the social domain, you often work with vulnerable groups. Every party involved must therefore understand the importance of protecting data,, such as the BSN, a national identification number. Legislation is constantly being tightened, but protecting vulnerable youth is even more important. Scopisto understands what we are doing. All developers therefore have a valid Certificate of conduct or VOG. They too are an important partner in devising ways to maximise security.”
External penetration testing
The application was developed by another party. Scopisto eventually took over its development and management. “By now, after all these years, it has become a real Scopisto application. They know that all aspects of the application must be right and they’re clearly driven to do this really well. They are always open to feedback. For example, we do an external penetration test every year to expose security weaknesses. This involves an ethical hacker from a third party trying to get inside the application. The team values this and sees it as an opportunity for improvement. We are on the same page, working together to achieve the same goal: to build an extremely secure application to help young people in The Netherlands.”
Collaborating with Scopisto
Operating in a unique market, Roberto sees Scopisto Scopisto as a unique company as well. “Michiel is incredibly involved with his customers and takes a personal approach. In my industry, you have to understand the market and the legislation in order to make the application successful. And although we usually collaborate with the developers remotely, this works perfectly. We have as much contact with them as we do with our own colleagues,and understanding the application has never been an issue.. The truth is that in Scopisto I’ve found the IT partner I was looking for.”