One of the key advantages of the ECINS Family Assessment Tool is the considerable amount of time it saves practitioners and key workers including Troubled Families Co-ordinators. Usual practice, until now, has been for assessments to be carried out in a paper-based format which needs to be filled in by hand. The new electronic version is linked directly to the relevant ECINS Cases and Profiles so that all the information on an individual and family is in one place and can be ‘pulled’ from the system with minimum effort.
The fact that the tool is accessible over a secure network means that the assessment can be carried out at the families’ address – practitioners can literally tap in the information whilst the meeting is in progress and set a future date to carry out a review. Because the information from the previous assessment is already there it enables the practitioner to quickly duplicate the previous assessment and make detailed progress comparisons against each review date.
Once the assessment or assessments have been created, all authorised practitioners within the scheme, who have been granted permission to view it, are able to see the completed assessment. By recording data over a set timeframe and comparing results Troubled Families co-ordinators are able to build a wider picture of the issues facing families and the correlations between them. It also helps key workers to analyse and understand the type of support that works for individual families and to generate a wide range of statistics that will help workers analyse trends and measure the effectiveness of their work with the family.