With Social Solutions’ Apricot 360 case management software in place, ARCHS is empowering its partners to identify new challenges, apply best practices and navigate the 2020 crises in real-time by pushing the envelope of technology.
With help from Social Solutions software, ARCHS was able to serve:
Area Resources for Communities and Human Services, better known as ARCHS, is a funding agency based out of St. Louis, Missouri. In addition to providing funding, their mission is to improve the lives of those who provide services to their communities and ensure the agencies they support have the expertise and right tools in place to succeed.
Currently, they partner with more than 30 local human service initiatives to improve the lives of children and families facing disadvantages in the region’s most resource-deprived communities. Many of these service programs focus on early childhood, school-age and family support initiatives. In 2019 alone, the programs ARCHS’ supported provided services for 190,000 under-resourced community members in more than 360 locations around the region.
So, when the COVID pandemic took the world by storm in 2020, many agencies that partner with ARCHS had to begin offering services remotely and make adjustments to program delivery when their communities perhaps needed help most. Hungry for guidance and information, agencies turned to ARCHS for direction.
On top of navigating the numerous challenges brought on by COVID-19, the ARCHS family suffered a tragic loss with the passing of a beloved board member due to the pandemic. Amid the sadness, the ARCHS organization worked swiftly to continue leading their partners with resiliency in his remembrance.
“[He] would want us to memorialize him by doing the work, so we’ve been doing the work in his memory and making things happen. It has impacted us personally, but that also motivates us to do what we need to do to serve our constituents.”Wendell E. Kimbrough, ARCHS’ Chief Executive Officer
Facing these difficulties head-on and entering this new era of social good in the virtual world, the ARCHS team made necessary adjustments to how they measure impact and prove they’re moving the needle forward for and on behalf of their partners.
While it’s been a stressful time, ARCHS immediately made the digital transformation with Social Solutions’ Apricot 360 case management software on their side. And because Apricot 360 is part of the ARCHS model, agency partners were familiar with the cloud-based case management system’s inner-workings. In fact, many staff members were already out in the field pre-pandemic with laptops, tablets and cell phones collecting data, taking notes and reporting on services provided.
“Our work is out in the world. We’re not a ‘sit at your desk’ organization. Anything we can do to push the envelope of technology is going to be to the benefit of the program”Steven Brawley, ARCHS Executive Vice President
And while some programs continued services mostly uninterrupted, others looked to ARCHS for online curriculums and trainings to adjust to “new-normals.” The ARCHS team began presenting webinars and circulating weekly newsletters on professional development and best practices. They also created new reporting forms to track how COVID-19 is changing program delivery and shared insights with all the organizations they fund on similar challenges and successful processes.
With Apricot 360, ARCHS and their partners were able to keep programs operating, albeit not at the same intimate level as before, but ensuring families are getting the resources and information they need to help navigate these challenging times.
And while no one knows what the future holds, Kimbrough and Brawley believe organizations will continue looking at new ways to do things, and Apricot 360 will be even more vital to empower the agencies working on the front line.
It’s no longer enough to keep up with the curve; organizations need to get ahead of the curve to do these life-changing jobs best. ARCHS made a strong commitment to ensuring that their programs have a virtual plan in place for how they track data, service and communicate with clients, and how they pass information to key partners such as the state of Missouri.
“It’s about figuring out all of these communications lines and make sure they’re operating in real-time. It’s about speed and efficiency, using platforms and making people comfortable in the uncomfortableness.”Steven Brawley, ARCHS Executive Vice President
Although there are still many unknowns, ARCHS’ partnership with Social Solutions continues to allow their organization to look at things differently with a flexible, easy-to-use platform that staff is comfortable with.
“We’re happy the Social Solutions platform enables us to be creative and think through some challenges. We have a platform that lets us experiment, and Social Solutions technology allows us to be creative and flexible.”Steven Brawley, ARCHS Executive Vice President
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