Working with support from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and in collaboration with Kent IT Consultancy, University of Kent we explored the potential use of current cloud-based and AI-as-a-service technologies to create a proof-of-concept digital solution for children-in-care to safely develop, store and access their life stories as an ongoing process and journey to support the development of young people’s sense of self and identity for now and the future.

This project sought to address fundamental issues in balancing the need for safeguarding, confidentiality and security for children in care with the wider benefits that most young people and families take for granted with regards to digital capture, storage, portability, access of memories and future-proofing.

The risk is that hard copies or USB or CD backups, as currently recommended are easily lost, damaged or destroyed or rely on technologies that are already outdated. The secondary risk is the context of those memories is also lost.

Current commercially available products are not sufficiently tailored to the unique needs of children-in-care or carers. More importantly, they do not offer the robust levels of security or data protection required.

Our approach was to explore and address:

  • current use of existing platforms and technologies;
  • login and user management with appropriate privileges;
  • potential use of current cloud-based and AI-as-a-service technologies; and
  • which technological approaches may offer more robust security solutions.