This fiscal year (2010/2011) Children Aid Societies (CAS) will spend over $1.4 billion delivering the ever-important job of keeping children safe and helping parents keep them safe. That’s a tall order for any social and human services nonprofits. To add to this challenge, CAS’s are faced with the administrative burden that there are no reliable measures of staff time and costs associated with administrative activities amongst Canadian CAS organizations.
Given our focus in helping Children’s Aid Societies we believe that the administrative burden can be reduced by emphasizing the development of e‐government, and the introduction of modern IT systems to child welfare to help streamline processes and transactional costs. Measures such as bringing services to users in seamless integrated manner, multichannel service delivery: integrating electronic services with call centres, mail, over‐the‐counter services etc, and consolidating common business processes like payroll, human resources, accounting and archiving.
Other considerations include:
- Increase in data sharing, standardization to help save front line staff by time by capturing information once and sharing it across an organization. Today, this is an issue for many CAS, who report information in various formats to different levels and divisions of government.
- Process re‐engineering to streamline the information transactions required by Government – to optimise them, reduce their number and reduce the burden of each through redesign, elimination of steps and application of technology.
I believe we've just scratched the surface of how we can reduce the administrative burden. An Article recently written about 'Sustainability in Child Welfare' provides great perspective of the challenges faced by CAS today. Its definitely worth a read!
Submitted by Nicola Dickinson