In the United Kingdom, information and communication technologies are being used to e-enable multiagency community services for children. Public policy advocates that practitioners as well as users should be involved in the shaping of services including the information systems used in their delivery. This article discusses how a group of social and computer scientists developed the social formation methodology to facilitate nonexpert community participation in the design of e-enabled community care services. The longitudinal study adapts qualitative methods to understand community welfare and to foster participation in the design of communication systems. By exploring the perspectives of welfare practitioners and families, the importance of situated and mediated conversations in community care is identified. The facilitative conversation approach of the study then brings these community perspectives, as well as ICT perspectives, into design processes of e-enabled services.
- community participative design
- multiagency children's services
- social formation methodology