Mark Denton: 3 minute read

Social Care: The 80/20 Rule

Pareto’s law (or principle) states that for many events, 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.

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Original text

We can apply the 80/20 rule to Social Care. In particular, case management, where Social Workers spend close to 80% of their time completing case work, with only 20% being spent in direct contact with families building relationships.

A new campaign from BASW England is attempting to address this imbalance. It draws upon a survey of 350 members that showed in an average working week of 45 hours, 29 are spent on a computer doing paperwork. It is an imbalance that is affecting the system and saw nearly 2,500 children being shunted around the system last year. Children need stability, especially when they are young and vulnerable, they need to build relationships, not be transferred from pillar to post.

What can be done?
Overnight? Nothing. This is not new information. We all know that Social Workers are overworked and under equipped to effectively deal with all the cases that are thrown their way. They need efficiencies in order to break away from this 80/20 working existence.

The 80/20 campaign from BASW is attempting to redress the balance. It is aiming to find pathways into better practice and design practical solutions that can be easily implemented by local authorities. One of the most relevant ways in which they are looking to create efficiencies is with IT systems.

Within their initial survey, BASW found that 87% of the Social Workers that were surveyed said that they had access to IT, but that it was slow and unreliable. Duplication within case management systems was highlighted as a huge issue, as well as the systems themselves going offline whilst entering data.

Working anywhere and at anytime
Tablets and laptops can improve efficiency by allowing social workers to work on the move, anywhere and at anytime. By using these portable forms of technology, you begin to unlock the shackles of Social Work and turn technology into an enabler rather than necessary evil.

The Social Worker can spend quality time with the individuals and work towards positive change in their lives. It is crucial they can focus on their clients, without the fear of the hours of recording they will need to do afterward. Using modern technology they can simply record information directly with their client, possibly adding final details in the car before they head straight to the next appointment. This simple change in process is priceless as it gives the Social Worker the extra time needed with the vulnerable adult or child to properly build relationships and understand the situation. A move to mobile with simple to use IT will empower the Social worker and their clients improve their lives and focus on better outcomes.

Anne Longfield OBE, Children’s Commissioner for England, said (when speaking about the 80/20 campaign):

“Children in care deserve the chance to thrive and fulfil their aspirations, and stable relationships are an essential part of building their lives and achieving their potential. Children themselves say that stability is the most important aspect of their experience of care.”

To build a picture of an area the government needs data and so do the Social Workers, they need to have as many jigsaw pieces in order to create the picture of the child or vulnerable adult. The main way in which you can do this is to speak with the vulnerable individual in question. Data and case notes are essential but they are not as important as stable relationships in a vulnerable individual’s life.

Being able to work anywhere and at any time is the dream but before you can do this, you need a reliable system that you can count on, built for the way a social worker actually works.

ECLIPSE Case Management
We listened to the concerns of Social Workers and invested in a solution that would address them. ECLIPSE is the culmination of five years’ dedicated work and collaboration. It is a solution focuses on efficiency and frees up time and money, giving Social Workers their freedom back and most importantly putting the most vulnerable first.

We used our knowledge and experience to craft something that would be as relevant today as it will be in ten years’ time. Developing ECLIPSEalongside more than 300 Social Workers, we created it with these features in mind:

  • Mobile responsive (Can be used anytime, anywhere and on any device)
  • Group recording prevents duplication of information
  • Secure (Protected by role based access, 1.5 and 2-factor authentication)
  • Flexible workflow capability
  • Cloud native (built from the ground up to make effective use of the Cloud)
  • Best practice forms and workflows out of the box (Importantly they can be customised based on your organisation)
  • Rich text forms that can embed imagery and video guidance
  • Multi-agency usage (Access can be controlled. You only see what is relevant to your role)

ECLIPSE is in use at multiple sites from across the country. It is freeing workers from their desks and getting them out there in the field to ensure that the vulnerable have the human connections they need to have a chance at a better future.

The BASW 80/20 campaign is one that we believe in and one that we are uniquely placed to assist with. We have the only cloud ready, mobile responsive, workflow optimised, secure system on the market that has been built from the ground up. It saves time, money and avoids unnecessary duplication, put simply it is the technological component of a successful Social Care team that will help to safeguard lives.

If you feel as though technology and freedom would be useful for your organisation, then please don’t hesitate, get in touch today, we would be happy to talk to you.