Bespoke database management software lets PACT effectively support & advocate for their clients, with flexible reporting that gives them confidence in ongoing funding.
What drives PACT?
- Continuing to support vulnerable children at an optimum level.
- Enhancing advocacy through key stakeholder relationships and evidence-based feedback mechanisms.
Protect All Children Today Inc (PACT) is a community based, non-government organisation that supports and advocates for child and young person victims and witnesses in the Queensland Criminal Justice System.
Since 1986, PACT has grown to 6 staff, 120 Child Witness Support Volunteers and assisted over 1,750 clients in the 2016/17 financial year. All of their work is funded by generous donations and government grants that recognise the important support they give to vulnerable children and young people—and their carers— during the sometimes difficult court process.
PACT realised their client database needed an overhaul. Not only was it hard to use and time consuming to update, but it was also difficult to prepare appropriate reports for their funding body.
It was vital that PACT find a solution. Their few staff were bogged down in data entry, and the poor reporting options could put their grants at risk.
With a limited budget, they turned to their partnership with the University of Queensland to present their need for recommendations as an industry project opportunity for a Masters student, Shai Shandil.
Shai quickly proved that he understood their unique business and technical needs, and has continued to offer PACT full development and software management services through softsolutions.
The project started with an investigation and recommendations.
PACT then engaged softsolutions to build the new client database and management software (DiMS), creating a solution that’s flexible and scaleable to meet their expanding service needs.
Over the last ten years, they have gone on to maintain and enhance a system that has changed how PACT understands their clients.
Communication makes or breaks every IT project.
PACT appreciated that Shai was able to become an expert on their business, so every suggestion was founded in what would best meet their unique needs. From eliciting requirements, to presenting alternative solutions, PACT found Shai’s communication an integral factor in the project’s success.
Agile software development works for PACT
PACT relies on donations and grants, so new features are often allocated strictly limited funds. The ability to develop and release enhancements in small increments perfectly suits this funding process.
Agile also allows PACT to continually enhance their reporting capabilities, as they identify new data requirements or opportunities.
Better reports, easier funding
Simpler to use software, with a carefully designed client database, means PACT’s client data is more accurate. This is important when they report on their outcomes to maintain and apply for vital Government funding.
Being able to store and report on more data around their clients and types of cases, PACT can better understand their clients’ needs. This lets them prioritise funding for services that will provide the most value to the children they support.
Continue to support vulnerable children at an optimum level.
Reports are how PACT provides key stakeholders with real data on successes and areas for improvement. DiMS lets them store, report on, understand and share an ever expanding range of data on the needs of their clients and the value of their work.
Enhance advocacy through key stakeholder relationships and evidence-based feedback mechanisms.
9 hours saved, every week
Every time PACT is referred a new client, DiMS saves them 15 minutes by automatically generating important letters and emails. This is a significant time saving when they receive approximately 1,750 referrals every year! That 9 hours saved each week can be put to good use by the small staff of a not-for-profit community agency.
“Shai Shandil, the student engaged to undertake this project, created softsolutions on completion of his Masters study and given the level of expertise demonstrated and the success of the scoping project, PACT was happy to engage softsolutions to develop the Database and continue as our software manager over the past decade.
All staff use the DiMS database on a daily basis and the accuracy of the data is paramount to our operation, as well as the ability to generate statistical reports for our Government funding.”