SSD was asked to support a review which was already underway but stalling. It quickly became apparent that the problem with the review was down to two basic issues.
1. The multi-agency alliance was finding it extremely difficult to share comparative information across the multiple organisations involved due to data-sharing protocols.
We met with the stakeholders within a County Council, some Districts, the NHS and the Police. All agencies delivered sensible willing officers looking to identify a solution. They had started mapping information across an extended family, with plenty of issues and a high frequency of reported incidents. What had been identified was a lack of capability to deal with the incidents in a collaborative way and a long uphill struggle to enable the legal sharing of all data between the agencies and officers involved.
SSD identified what could be shared across and within the different organisations and to what extent that sharing could take place. What was quickly agreed as ‘OK’ in terms of satisfying the legalities surrounding data sharing, was the use of data symbols on GIS based maps. This allowed all agencies to show activity using colours, shapes and dates without breaching legislation or policies. The solution was a two tier approach allowing the internal elements of the organisations to share the ‘translations’ of colour and shapes, while the external bodies were only aware that activities were occurring.
This enabled the various people / agencies ‘in the game’ to share knowledge in respect to each other’s movements, whilst ensuring there was no actual data or information being shared. This greatly improved ‘organisational activity awareness’, delivered an improved capability to demonstrate trends and patterns. This allowed those looking at the relationships between one agency's actions and another to determine ‘cause and effect’.
The next step was to utilise the officer’s intuitive experience and facilitate a ‘mind-mapping’ exercise to capture what they experienced on paper. This allowed all the interconnected issues and actions required against each, understood by those on the ground, to be put into a spread-sheet and given some structure. Once this knowledge was mapped against the frequency of occurrence, we were able to applying a mixture of detailed and approximate costings against each type of event.
This showed that the costs associated to this particular family were a little over £900,000 a year. Once established we were able to demonstrate what the cost-benefit ratio would be in terms of reducing and removing certain issues. While this approach didn’t constitute full collaboration or total accuracy, it did provide such a significant step forward in terms of shared understanding that there was an almost palpable increase in the level of enthusiasm to step up a gear and deal with the key issues.
The spread-sheet information was then fed into a Benefits Realisation Plan, in order to help coordinate activities across the alliance.
As a direct result of only a little support from SSD, the effectiveness of problem family interventions took a significant leap forward with all parties able to justify further joint working initiatives and receive full multi-agency support for an improved ICT system to share all information.
A similar Case Study on ASB is available on request from Daveg@supportservicesdirect.co.uk it is also available for download from our website at http://www.supportservicesdirect.co.uk/case-studies.html
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