Women’s Refuges – Ngā Whare Whakaruruhau o Aotearoa

Kathryn Jones LFBIT

Sasha Ward-Faint
Data and project development analyst, National Collective of Independent Women’s Refuges, Ngā Whare Whakaruruhau o Aotearoa

“Data quality is hugely important to us.”

The National Collective of Independent Women’s Refuges (Women’s Refuge) comprises 41 independent refuges across Aotearoa, New Zealand.

Centralised funding and pressure from government meant the organisation needed to change from 41 independent databases to a centralised client management system.

The solution needed to be New Zealand-based, collect data across multiple service streams, effectively capture client information, and offer central reporting to funders.

Women’s Refuge chose Recordbase as its client management solution. Wild Bamboo’s extensive experience in the social sector meant the system delivered on every requirement – and much more.

Data-driven advocacy

Data collected using Recordbase is essential to the work Women’s Refuge does with government and the wider social sector.

“Data quality is hugely important to us. Our CEO, Dr Ang Jury, is big on data to back up the statements she makes,” says Sasha Ward-Faint, data and project development analyst for Women’s Refuge.

“Good data means we can report on trends and developments in family violence, highlighting capacity requirements in different areas, and demonstrating outcomes.”

With Recordbase as its central reporting feature and support from Wild Bamboo business analysts, Women’s Refuge found a flexible and adaptable system that met its needs.

“The business analysts at Wild Bamboo are so good at looking at contracts and what funders need, asking the right questions to ensure the reporting is going to get things across the line for us,” says Sasha.

She points to the additional $202 million of funding for family and sexual violence services announced in the government’s 2020 budget. “We know that our Ministry funders made extensive use of our service delivery data.”

Keeping clients at the centre

Recordbase also supports Women’s Refuge with a more individual, personal type of advocacy. “It’s more than just a data collection tool,” says Sasha.

“We are often asked to provide a voice for women and children when they’re working with police or other agencies, sometimes long after they initially engage with the Refuge service.

“Recordbase ensures every client has access to accurate records that effectively articulate the family violence journey she and her children are on.”

Recordbase signposts the complexities and challenges in the client journey, providing a record that can stand the test of time. “It allows us to capture client data that keeps her and her children at the centre,” says Sasha.

Most importantly, Women’s Refuge is confident in the privacy and security of the client data they capture and store. “Recordbase meets the high government threshold for safety and security of client data. That’s a huge thing for our refuges,” says Sasha.

“The system does what it says it does, it’s safe and secure, meaning our clients and funders can trust how the data is captured, stored, and reported.”

Easy integration for outcomes reporting

Outcomes reporting to government and funders has become easier, with the integration of the Outcomes StarTM Empowerment Star.

The Empowerment Star is an evidence-based measurement tool specifically designed for use with women who have experience of family violence. Women’s Refuge approached Wild Bamboo about integrating the tool with Recordbase to avoid dealing with multiple systems.

“We needed to use the outcome tool as an add-on to help with the shift towards capturing a certain level of data, but wanted to avoid duality of systems,” says Sasha.

Wild Bamboo’s wide social sector experience meant it already knew about the Outcomes StarTM tools. The integration was an easy process, done on time and with great effect. “Wild Bamboo took care of everything.”

Understanding and integrity

The knowledge and experience of the Wild Bamboo team has become a valued resource for Women’s Refuge.

“The partnership with Wild Bamboo is awesome,” says Sasha. “They’re always open to hearing how we need to use the system, and give good advice that isn’t about selling.”

“Whether they can provide the solution to something or not, it’s always clear and easy to understand why. They have integrity, and they’ve never steered us wrong.”

About Women’s Refuge

The National Collective of Independent Women’s Refuges is New Zealand’s largest nation-wide organisation that supports and helps women and children experiencing family violence. Their vision is for all women and children in Aotearoa to live free from domestic and family violence.

www.womensrefuge.org.nz 

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