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Fujitsu and Action for Children: Connecting children to their potential

For Digital Pride, Action for Children's Celeste Mottahedin-Fardo and Sabrina Palanee look at how a partnership with Action for Children helped promote inclusion

Fujitsu and Action for Children: Connecting children to their potential
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Fujitsu and Action for Children partnered to promote inclusivity and efficiency

Sponsored: From 2014 until 2016, Fujitsu partnered with Action for Children to support the charity through time, knowledge and donations.

The partnership inspired Fujitsu colleagues to take part in fundraising activities and donate their skills and expertise to directly support the charity. Over the course of the two years, Fujitsu contributed over £1.2 million to Action for Children through fundraising, volunteering, and gift donations.

But even more than that, the organisations collaborated to support diversity and inclusion activities in both companies, and to use technology to maximise the impact of Action for Children’s activities.

Mutual support to promote diversity

Fujitsu and Action for Children are both fully committed to developing and nurturing a diverse and inclusive workforce. Celebrate LGBT+, Action for Children’s award-winning staff network for staff with an interest in LGBTI equality issues, and Fujitsu’s own award-winning LGBT+ network Shine provided mutual support and developed a close relationship.

‘Action for Children is committed to promoting equality, valuing diversity and working inclusively across the whole organisation,’ said Siobhan Corria, head of inclusion at Action for Children.

‘We have a five-year equality scheme that aims to fully embed equality, diversity and inclusion into all our systems, processes and behaviour – and which helps us make every effort to eliminate discrimination and promote equal opportunities.

Last year, we attended a Digital Pride event with Fujitsu, in collaboration with Shine. The event was a global video discussion on the theme of identity and belonging, and focused on the different and multiple identities we all have; when we might disclose them, how they intersect and can sometimes be in conflict.

‘The discussion enabled not only reflection on our own identities as employees of Action for Children, but also the identities of the children, young people and families we work with. Following the event, we were able to share our Digital Pride experience with colleagues and continue to promote the value of working inclusively.

‘In June 2015, we walked with Fujitsu’s LGBT network, Shine, at London and Manchester Pride. The partnership has allowed both organisations to share good practice, raise awareness of equality and establish long-standing personal and professional relationships through networking.’

The impact of digital

The partnership has also demonstrated how digital technology can increase the amount of help that Action for Children offers its service users and staff.

The most significant element of the expertise provided by Fujitsu has been the Digital Case Files project, which involved them providing more than £366,000 of essential pro-bono support, and would see the digitalisation of Action for Children’s case file management system.

For every child supported, Action for Children holds extensive records detailing their background, how they have been supported and the progress they have made.

This is vital, confidential and personal information on each child and family, and must be available for access at any time.

Fujitsu’s support has enabled Action for Children to start the huge task of digitalising these paper files and so transforming the organisation’s digital efficiency and promoting digital inclusion.

Zahida Fidahusein, programme manager at Action for Children, explained how the Digital Case Files project has allowed her colleagues to continue to support disadvantaged children, young people, and families across the UK.

‘Our partnership with Fujitsu has meant we have been able to design and develop a Digital Case Files system that allows staff to access the case files of our service users from any location,’ Fidahusein said.

‘Having electronic case files that are accessible from any location with a WiFi or data connection allows our mobile workforce to access the information they need quickly and efficiently. The system also allows staff to share information with service users.

‘During a service visit, for example, staff can share care plans with parents and young people so they can have “real time” input into the support they receive and feel included.

‘As staff are not having to travel to and from the office to collect paper files, travel time and costs are minimised. This rings particularly true for services in rural areas or geographically dispersed. Management oversight is improved as staff can receive immediate advice and support, as their manager has easy access to the files.’

Find out more about Action for Children at actionforchildren.org.uk.

For more on Fujitsu, visit fujitsu.co.uk.

Words by Celeste Mottahedin-Fardo and Sabrina Palanee

On Thursday 27 April from 5-6.30pm, as part of Digital Pride, Fujitsu will be hosting a global panel discussion on LGBT Inclusion in the Digital Age, chaired by Dr Sue Black (OBE).


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