Family Help Trust

Case Management System

A secure web application designed to automate and simplify questionnaire-based case management, client monitoring and service outcomes reporting at Family Help Trust.

Problem

Family Help Trust operates child abuse-prevention services for high risk families in Christchurch, New Zealand. The services are directed to the parents/families, in their homes or in a Department of Corrections facility.

Over many years they developed comprehensive quantitative intake and outcome questionnaires to collect client information at baseline and at six monthly intervals. Social workers were using paper questionnaire forms to collect the data during home visits. This used to be re-entered electronically into a specialised database which reached its capacity in late 2011 and was no longer supported.

A new solution was needed to reduce paper work and improve outcomes reporting capability of the agency. A solution had to be flexible and generic enough to suit other agencies potentially wanting to use it for their case management.

Social workers are equipped with 3G mobile internet-enabled Android tablets. All system functionality is available on tablet devices allowing them to record case data and interview responses on the go.

How we solved it

Solution

The client needed a solution unencumbered by ongoing licensing or maintenance fees. Alchemy designed and built the system using open source technologies: a Java platform, Angular JS web application framework and a Postgres database.

A free open source Ajax-based XForms product called Orbeon was used to implement questionnaire functionality. It was integrated with the custom built portion of the system to allow for seamless single sign on and flexibility to exchange data in the future e.g. to pre-populate questionnaires with case data.

Social workers are equipped with 3G mobile internet-enabled Android tablets. All system functionality is available on tablet devices allowing them to record case data and interview responses on the go.

Family Help Trust - Progress Report

Supervisors can see time spent summaries across all cases and can report on overdue items, statistics and outcomes from a high-level perspective e.g. reasons for which clients leave.

Family Help Trust - Cases

The system allows for multiple tenants / agencies.

Learn more about Alchemy's development processes →

Result

The new solution significantly reduced paperwork and enabled staff to directly input questionnaire and case data into the system during home visits as well as at the office.

Time taken to complete intake and progress questionnaires was halved by ensuring social workers only see applicable questions instead of the entire 400 question set with complex instructions on which questions to skip based on prior responses.

The project was completed on time and budget within approximately four months from signing of the contract to the date of the final release to UAT. Family Help Trust has been actively using the system since the beginning of 2015.