Founded as a charitable nonprofit society in 1957, the Children’s Foundation has been helping Vancouver’s vulnerable children and their families better their lives through its many programs and services for 60 years.
Services offered at the agency’s locations in Vancouver and Surrey, B.C. today include assessments for children with complex needs aged 6 to 12, counselling for families with children under 12, a therapeutic school day program, and an education transition centre for school-aged kids.
In addition, they offer parenting courses, family support and respite services, as well as foster care support.
In 2014-15, Children’s Foundation programs served close to 800 families in the community, providing over 8,000 hours of service to children and families at their Alderwood Family Development Centre alone.
In 2010, the Children’s Foundation decided to look at the systems they were using to manage their client data. Since they were already using case management software, the need for effective data migration was a critical part of the equation.After conducting an in-depth examination of three systems in the marketplace, the procurement team evaluated their options and decided that Penelope was the best choice.
Deployment took between two and three months since data migration was in scope, and because there were multiple layers of information that needed to be brought in.
The agency had an adequate server as well as experienced in-house I.T. staff to manage the system, so they opted to have the software hosted on-site.
The option to buy Penelope outright and still have access to Athena’s support staff was another major reason they decided to go with Penelope over other available options.
As might be expected, changing case management software systems was a huge decision for the foundation, so effective end-user training was built in to their deployment package to ensure that everyone was on board by the go-live date.
Benefits of Using Penelope
One of the main benefits that the Children’s Foundation sees from using Penelope is the ability to create custom reports via pivot tables using data they export from the system directly into Microsoft Excel.
Because the majority of their reporting goes straight to the provincial government for funding purposes, this part of Penelope is hugely important to the agency. The agency also uses Penelope’s built-in reports if they want to examine elements that are specific to individual services they offer.
They’ve made the system accessible to all of the different service providers across the organization and, because of the widespread usage, it’s now easier to report on both service-specific and agency-wide metrics.