Easing the burden of Admin for Community Workers– Enclude join in the debate
Changing Ireland published a cartoon, on page 13, of recent edition, entitled ‘ Community Work sometimes involves a little admin’ . The cartoon shows a worker spending years completing admin for the SICAP ( Social Inclusion and Activation Programme).
We in Enclude passionately believe it doesn’t have to be like that. Here is response, printed in subsequent edition, from Eamon Stack, CEO of Enclude
We in ‘Enclude’ were struck by the cartoon in the last edition of ‘Changing Ireland’ which showed a community worker toiling endlessly in front of a computer screen to address the reporting needs of funders. It doesn’t have to be so! ‘Enclude’ is currently working with partnership companies in Dublin to design an information management system that will remove some of the drudgery they are experiencing at present. The system will:
• Manage their interactions with people they serve through the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP);
• Assist with reporting to IRIS (a system used by community workers nationwide involved in SICAP);
• Track interventions made that are not currently recognised by SICAP categories.
In the past we’ve done similar work in the addiction services area, working with the HSE and projects to develop custom-made client care and staff management system. A recent evaluation conducted with the addiction services shows that the system is helping them to generate savings in staff and management time – by cutting out duplication and reducing time spent on administration – worth almost €50,000 per year on average (or 285 working days per year). Addiction services reported that they also saved 89 working days of managers’ and administrators’ working time each year. There was also an annual saving of €18,000 on software licences.
The new system also helped to improve the quality of data available to manage interactions with clients as well as the data available to meet funders’ reporting requirements. Lisa Gavillet, Development Worker with the North Eastern Regional Drugs Task Force told us that: “Our eCASS system has given us a way to record and report on actual contact time, outcomes and progression of clients from a service perspective. This then feeds into a larger statistical gathering exercise providing timely and relevant information to funders and policy makers.”
Turas – Their experience with Enclude
The Canal Communities Training Programme, aka TURAS, is a rehabilitative education and training programme for stabilised drug users. Trevor Keogh, manager, said Enclude’s ‘eCASS’ system helped them support their people to engage more effectively with their care plans and with getting into, or back to, work. “This has really supported client engagement. For example, because of eCASS, clients can now move between addiction services with much greater ease, and staff changes in our own service generate much less disruption than they did previously,” said Trevor. There are benefits for staff too
who have less paperwork to do than before. TURAS operates as a Community Employment Scheme funded and supported by The Dept. of Social Protection, the HSE, the local Education & Training Board and the Canal Communities Local Drugs Task Force.