Allan Lugrin, Families with Future Analyst at Borough of Poole spoke to us about the work his team is doing around Troubled Families and ECORYS Submissions.
“Initially we were using a very large database and a series of spreadsheets to manage our Troubled Families Programme. As the programme grew so did the database and the data storage and the input was becoming really labour intensive. Together with my fellow analyst, Vikki Howe, we worked with the ECINS Team to use ECINS and tailor it to our needs. We transferred the information from the database we were using and put it into ECINS. This saved a large amount of storage space and enabled all the information to be kept in one place.” Explained Allan.
“A key part of our job as analysts is to produce reports and Payments by Results data to evidence to the government about the effectiveness of our TF programme. A regular report all Troubled Families analysts have to produce and submit is to ECORYS as part of the National Evaluation of the Troubled Families Programme. This report is extensive and used to take us a long time to pull together. We wanted to simplify its production as much as we could and asked the ECINS Team to work on a solution with us.
They were very open minded about how we wanted to use the system and were receptive to ways it could be adapted for the future. Whilst Vikki and I had our own ideas about how to tailor it to our needs, the EC Team took a much wider view about how it could work for us but also be suitable for the Troubled Families Programme as a whole ” said Allan.
“The process to having this functionality built involved us giving the EC Team 8 to 10 different reports that we were using and we asked them to look at how they could best collect that data. We discussed how the system could store that information and how they would send it back to us appropriately as sensitive information.
Their solution was to create the Family Monitoring Data (FMD) Template which is essentially an assessment tool which holds a list of questions related to the type of work we do. ECINS is prepopulated with the data so that it automatically links individuals’ names against a host of criteria including family characteristics, housing status, interventions and key worker details, Employment status, Education and Absence/Exclusion details, Child Protection, Crime and Health” explained Allan.
“ECINS has also developed a reporting tool which allows us to specify the exact reports we need of any size and variety and they can automatically run these for us. Prior to using ECINS we had to trawl through a variety of different databases and run any number of reports to get the information we needed. This new functionality is now saving us a huge amount of time and effort.” said Allan.
ECINS’ Michael James said “We are really pleased that Allan and Vikki came to us to work on a solution to streamline their reporting processes and whilst this new functionality was a very comprehensive piece of development it has created enormous benefits for Troubled Families practitioners everywhere. It has also led to us liaising with customers to look at standardising the ways they use the system in light of phase 2 of the Troubled Families Programme and discuss how the new Needs Assessment Tool feeds into it as a way of automatically referring individuals to areas of support. These new pieces of functionality will revolutionise the way TF practitioners manage their cases and will provide enormous benefits to their partners and customers too.”