Capturing outcomes with Caretakers Cottage

Through the Expert Advice Exchange (EAX), ARTD have worked witrih Caretakers Cottage to capture the outcomes of their transitional accommodation service, Options Youth Housing.

The EAX, an initiative of the NSW Government’s Office of Social Impact Investment, connects non-government organisations and social enterprises with leading legal and professional services firms, financial institutions and other companies to provide pro bono on growing and sustaining their impact.

When Caretakers Cottage first came to us, they said they needed some support with strategic planning. But after our Managing Pncipal Consultant Sue Leahy and Senior Consultant Alexandra Ellinson talked with them further and did a detailed SWOT analysis with the team, we realised that what they needed was to capture their outcomes. So we worked with them on a tool to capture client wellbeing in seven domains, from living skills and education to accommodation, family connections, health, safety and wellbeing. By applying the tool at entry, every three months during the service, and after leaving, caseworkers systematically collect information to assess and document changes. Caseworkers can also use the assessment as an opportunity to have supportive conversations with clients about their wellbeing, and to develop a shared understanding of their progress.

Caretakers Cottage was concerned about not creating more work for the sake of doing more work. But they have found that the tool has helped them to better monitor their work and to focus on what the client needs. As well as increasing the staff’s capacity to consistently assess client wellbeing, it really energised the staff because they are now collecting evidence that shows the impact of their work.

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