When you think of a quality foster care system, technology may not be the first thing that comes to mind. At Quinte Children’s Homes, we know the right tools make a big difference, and good software is one of them.
During the past six months, we’ve been implementing a new information-management system we call ASQ-IT that was customised through Sharevision. This software is easy to use and has features that make being a foster parent, what we call Parent Therapists, more about the kids and less about the paperwork.
Secure access to foster care system from anywhere
A lot of what we do doesn’t happen in the office – and even when it does, being at a desk isn’t always realistic. “There’s a lot of information we need to have on-hand to do our work well,” explained Terry Stevenson, corporate director of Quinte Children’s Homes. “It’s important to have access when we need it, and it’s critical that those details be up to date.”
Accessibility and ease of use is what this new system offers to our Parent Therapists and staff:
- See relevant information through a dashboard customized to meet the staff and Parent Therapist’s needs for information (what you see when you use the program)
- Information can be accessed securely from anywhere – even a smartphone or tablet computer.
- A lot of processes can be automated, which eliminates guesswork
Less paperwork and easier administration
Adding new information is also easy on the go, so it’s reduced workload considerably, while making access to information more efficient.
“Our old process required a lot of work,” said Stevenson. “Reports had to be encrypted when sent by email, someone else had to enter the information into the system, and once it was entered you could only access it in our office through our server. This change eliminates a lot of extra effort.”
We’ve also been able to customize the system to automate our processes. For example, if an incident happens at home, a Parent Therapist will fill out an incident report then, based on information in the report, it can automatically be forwarded to a supervisor. Similarly, documents that need to be sent to external agencies can be copied and processed right from the document itself.
Up next: Google Apps
Now we’re focused on improving our workflows and about to tackle our next tech project: Moving to Google Apps. “Google has budget-friendly tools for things like email, calendars and word processing that can also be used on the road,” explained Stevenson. “I think it’s a good match with Sharevision.”
We think each of these tools helps us use technology the way we need to so we can focus more on the work we’re doing with the kids who need our help in the foster care system.