This is the first in a series of six blog posts about our underlying risk assessment methodology, evaluation framework and the data platform we have invested in to enable impact measurement. So here we go, instalment number one: conducting a risk assessment. To help explain what is possible, we will use ‘homelessness registry week’ initiatives as an example.
Some of you might recognise this type of work from international or domestic homelessness initiatives over the past years, namely:
- The work that Community Solutions (USA) has done over the last couple of years with 100,000 homes and now Zero: 2016. Both data-driven campaigns to end homelessness. More info at https://cmtysolutions.org/what-we-do/zero-2016
- The ‘Home For Good’ initiative that was funded by the Department of Housing and Public Works across Queensland in 2014/15. More info at http://www.hpw.qld.gov.au/Housing/Homelessness/homeforgood/Pages/AboutHomeforGood.aspx
Firstly, let us start by saying that a ‘homelessness registry week’ is typically used to gather a range of information from homeless people in the community with the intent to house and provide support to people who need it most. Survey data collected from a homelessness registry week is also used in an aggregate manner to inform system level responses to end homelessness. A registry week survey is usually conducted to collect vital client information to fully understand the needs of the local homeless community. An individual or family risk assessment goes a long way to establishing the argument that you are operating in a targeted way and will be vital when reporting housing and social support impact and outcomes. Another benefit to conducting an intake or risk assessment process is that it allows you to tailor a service response that best meets the need of the client.
Our system allows you to fully automate the risk assessment process. Evidence based, cumulative or weighted scoring systems allow your service to asses the risk of an individual or family. Depending on what tool you use, background algorithms are used to calculate overall risk and categorise your client's level of risk to tailor an effective service response.
The Vulnerability Index – Service Prioritisation Decision Assistance Tool (VI-SPDAT) is an academically valid and reliable tool that predicts the likelihood of early death in homeless populations. The tool is designed to assess individual/family risks over multiple domains and produce a weighted score rating that determines the appropriate service response. Brad has recently fallen into homelessness and has been picked up by a local support service. BeaconDB calculates the overall risk of the client and is used as a basis for developing the desired service responses, or as we call them ‘action plans’. Brad is assessed by the pre-screening tool and is requiring a short term and focussed service response to get him back on his feet. This service response is most appropriate and ultimately avoids Brad being sucked into the system for costly and long-term support.
So, if your community is ever thinking of running a homelessness registry week activity and need a cloud-based software solution to collect data, assess individual and family risk and measure outcomes – we have you covered. Don’t be put off by the prices of other large cloud-based data system providers, we are much more affordable.
Head to BeaconDB for more info.