Efficiency boost for UK school children's charity
The Place2Be is a charity working in 172 UK schools. Its vision is to improve the emotional well-being of children, their families and the school communities in England, Scotland and Wales. The charity was launched in 1994 after increased concern about the extent and depth of emotional and behavioural difficulties displayed in classrooms and playgrounds.
Like many charities working with children, The Place2Be is required by law to capture and document all correspondence from each meeting with any child, parent or group. This includes all conversations and questionnaires completed by the child, parent and/or teacher, assessment sheets and case information forms.
Previously, this was all recorded on paper and sent by post to The Place2Be’s head office. From there it was forwarded to an external scanning company and the digital version was then sent to an external data handling company. After several months the data would be available for the statisticians to analyze. This approach slowed down their data analysis and meant their most recent available data was 12 months old. The answer was to look for a different and secure way of capturing the information from each child interaction. Not only would this speed up the paper to statistic turnaround time, it would save the charity money in the long term. However, it needed to be done in a way that was cost effective to the organization and would not cause too much disruption to the staff’s daily roles with the children.
Working with input from users, the ThoughtWorks team developed a web-based application which was not only simple to use but would have a demonstrable impact on the business. A selection of developers worked tirelessly over a five-month period to build the software in line with the objectives that had been set.