eSAFE is a data management system created specifically for domestic violence services in Ireland. It was developed by Enclude in partnership with Quality Matters and Safe Ireland. The solution allows to capture all the details of client-related work and keeps the Clients’ data secure.
There are 39 domestic violence (DV) services providing support to women and children across all counties in Ireland. Services are free, confidential and available to all women and their children. They support over 13,500 women and children each year who are in violent and abusive relationships.
DV services were using a variety of data collection systems, ranging from traditional paper-based filing, Excel spreadsheets or customised Access databases. They needed a better system to manage Clients’ data in order to inform service development, national policy and general funder compliance requirements.
Initially 16 services committed to take part in the eSAFE project. Quality Matters with Safe Ireland’s support led the consultation phase which aimed to develop common protocols. The protocols detailed all processes and data-points that the CRM system should include. This step helped to maximise engagement and buy-in from services. It also ensured that the system would be fit for purpose.
These paper-based documents were used by Enclude to design the eSAFE package. eSAFE allows staff to record initial enquiries, Client details, Assessments, Referrals, Support Plans, Service Interventions and manage of Refuge occupancy. It also includes a suite of reports configured to meet the funder’s requirements.
The eSAFE prototype was thoroughly tested by a number of services and piloted in one. Following successful pilot, eSAFE was implemented in 21 services over 12 months. In the rollout phase Enclude trained over 250 end users, provided additional training for system administrators and ongoing support through eSAFE clinics.
Currently the eSAFE system is used in 22 services, which is more than a half of all DV services in Ireland. In 2022 nearly 7,000 new client files were set up using eSAFE.
eSAFE enables access to Clients’ history and support needs. It is easier for staff to hand over work after the end of their shift and retrieve the information they need. This leads to more efficient support offered to the service users and ensures that the tasks are followed up on as required.
Staff spend less time on administration and reporting. After the system is well bedded in, it can save up to 20% admin time.
Management of the services can easily oversee the work done with Clients and monitor Client’s progress. They can also identify red flags, trends and gaps, such as unmet refuge needs.
The system provides an evidence base to reflect the level of work carried out in support of victims of DV. This can be a potential driver for increased access to funding and support for the sector.
The data collected by different services is more standardised and will allow collecting statistics at a national level in the future.
Enclude is providing ongoing training and support to the services as part of eSAFE Community of Practice. The system is continuously reviewed and improved based on the feedback collected from the users. eSAFE Membership is growing with a further 3 system implementations planned for the coming year.
Enclude and Safe Ireland are planning to develop a module which will allow to collect key anonymised data from all the services using eSAFE. This will provide independent, timely and good quality data to the sector and wider audiences for awareness raising, research and service development.