Sixth Judicial Circuit of Pasco and Pinellas Counties uses Social Solutions software to manage:
As Chief Deputy Court Administrator, Michelle Ardabily is responsible for overseeing about a dozen programs at the Sixth Judicial Circuit of Pasco and Pinellas Counties, which is home to one of the largest drug courts in America, along with a sizable family court, adult drug court, veterans’ treatment court and dependency treatment court systems.
Because they did not have a comprehensive case management solution, the Sixth Judicial Circuit found themselves spending hours manually entering important case data into their systems and had difficulty collaborating between the several agencies that were usually involved with their cases. Additionally, they would have to investigate individual cases to track their programs’ attendance rates. And with 1,300 incoming drug court treatment cases a year, getting information for anyone, team members and stakeholders alike, was difficult.
With Social Solution’s case management software, the Sixth Circuit can now better track their cases. Using a customized reporting system made their data-collection process much more streamlined, and they can easily share information with stakeholder agencies. Their data is now organized in a way that makes it easier to follow cases and be alerted of high-risk cases earlier on. Sixth Circuit can also easily generate reports that give potential funders the most up-to-date information whenever they need it.
Before they implemented Social Solutions’ case management software, Michelle and her team could collect and track data only using Excel spreadsheets. They also had to rely on paper files when they needed information on individual cases. According to Michelle, they “didn’t have the time or tools to capture the data [they] needed.” And, because they didn’t have access to current data, it was difficult to achieve tasks effectively.
“There are other programs that have been around long before a system has been in place. Now, we can provide data on how our needs shift.”Michelle Ardabily, Chief Deputy Court Administrator
Being unable to share data across agencies was especially frustrating, specifically when several agencies were involved with the same case. Using hard copies of reports not only slowed down the process but case information could have easily gotten overlooked.
Before partnering with Social Solutions, Michelle’s team adopted another case management solution to collect their case data more efficiently than pen and paper. And, it worked for their team, but only short term. Their software was customized to their specific needs at the time of implementation, but their needs inevitably evolved, and, unfortunately, their software didn’t. They had to rely exclusively on the vendor to make even the smallest changes to displays or reporting formats.
Additionally, their software couldn’t keep up with the reporting demands of their grant applications. At any given time, Michelle and her team would be working on as many as four grant application projects, which involved having to pull data for different reports manually. They found themselves exerting a lot of effort just to meet requirements to get funding. That high level of effort wasn’t sustainable for the long term, especially since reporting requirements are only slated to increase over time. Eventually, when their previous case management program transitioned out, Michelle’s team found another solution: Social Solutions.
Since Michelle and her team implemented Social Solutions software into the Sixth Judicial Circuit system, they have seen a considerable improvement in their productivity. Their new system has streamlined team member duties because they have access to information, and it is now simpler to address their reporting needs. Michelle and her team can now use prebuilt reports or create reports for any data needs they have. “As long as the data is entered, we can retrieve it and run summary calculations on it.”
The switch to a new, cloud-based system immediately allowed all stakeholders and funders to view information related to cases in real-time. Reports are filed directly into the system by treatment providers, probation officers, transitional housing providers and the state attorney’s office. Michelle says she’s often asked for information, and requesters “are just astounded that [they] have a ton of information and can pull it right away.”
One of the main requirements that Sixth Circuit had for their next software solution was that it needed to have the ability to support their 300 users while also being easy to use, compliant and secure to protect case and client information. Social Solution’s case management systems have allowed Michelle to customize user roles, giving her team members the ability to work in the database in a way that makes sense to them and to share information pertinent to their role(s). “For instance,” said Michelle, “we can limit access for providers to just their own clients.”
When needs evolve, they can readily adapt. For example, if Michelle’s team has to generate a new report for a grant application, they can quickly create it. If they want to collect more information about their cases, they don’t have to go through extended periods of time for their software to change; they can change it themselves.
In the past, it was difficult to aggregate or validate any data entered into their system. Now, they can make sense of their full data set, which is leading them towards making more data-driven decisions. They are now able to, as Michelle states, “bring data to a problem.”
Sixth Circuit’s outcomes, such as graduation rates and recidivism rates, needed to be easier to track. Now they can see that 49% – 60% of cases end in graduation from their programs. Also, having this data means they can easily track the 17% of adult drug court graduates who re-offend within two years. With agencies submitting information directly to their system, it’s easy to collaborate between programs.
With information directly in front of them on their dashboard, Sixth Circuit team members can track their outcomes within programs better than ever. For example, they have better insight into cases that have failed drug court, even after sticking with it for two years or more and are now implementing new protocols to address their high-risk, high criminogenic behaviors. They can also track changes in reported drugs of choice and related demographics. These outcomes have helped shape their current programs and have given them the ability to make more informed decisions on how to implement new programs.
Michelle’s team is using data to help achieve their yearly goals. Tracking outcomes such as the recidivism and retention rates “help for new grants and validates the work [we] are doing,” according to Michelle. That isn’t the only goal they’re using data to tackle. She explains that “there are other programs that have been around long before a system has been in place. Now, we can provide data on how our needs shift.”
With the right software, Sixth Judicial Circuit of Pasco and Pinellas Counties can now make data-driven decisions that help them track their cases more effectively, improve the lives of their clients and prove their impact in the best way possible. Social Solutions has helped Sixth Circuit to collaborate with funders and stakeholders in real-time, which has created a community that is committed to sparking positive, lasting change for their clients.
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