Acorn House (Fostering Services Ltd) is an independent fostering agency based in the North West of England providing high quality foster care and services to children, young people and their families.
Like all agencies Acorn House must ensure that each foster care placement and subsequent annual reviews are carefully considered. So each case must be reviewed by a panel of highly skilled professionals who consider every detail of the young person’s life and that of their potential foster family.
Each detailed assessment can produce hundreds of pages of sensitive information, with even the annual reviews of each young person producing 30- 40 pages, which must be reviewed individually by each member of the assessment panel. Like many fostering agencies Acorn House was regularly sending out huge amounts of large documents to panel members which, as we carefully worked out, was costing in excess of £1000 per year on just paper and postage alone, never mind the cost of toner, packaging and, even more significantly, the precious staff time it involved to collate, print, package and post.
After careful research we recommended the use of encrypted documents for each assessment. These documents are securely emailed to encrypted tablets supplied to each panel member to ensure confidentiality. On the tablets software, which incorporates mark-up and annotation features, allows the panel members to make comments about each assessment without ever having to print the documents and allows them to work efficiently where they want. This new method of reviewing assessment documents has not only saved money, which can now go towards providing enhanced services to foster children, but also greatly improves data security.
‘The whole process has been a great success! It has saved us money, but more importantly it has saved time by at least 80% when preparing for panel meetings. Staff can now focus more time on supporting our carers and young people. Everything has become far more efficient, not only for ourselves, but for the panel members as well giving them a better, easier and more practical process.’
Ian Hopkins, Acorn House (Fostering Services) Ltd
What to find out more about paperless solutions? Give us a call on 01706 367036 – we’d love to hear from you.