Want More Funding? Data is the Key
The Children’s Advocacy Center of Santa Clara County has used Collaborate’s data mining tools to help raise $2.5 million in additional funding in the past two years. Those funds are being used to:
- Grow staff from 10 to 25 people,
- Expand medical, victim advocacy, and forensic interview services to 24/7, and
- Build capacity of the CAC to create a greater impact on their community.
We sat down with CAC Program Manager Jennifer Puthoff recently to chat about transitioning to Collaborate, becoming a data-centric agency, and what’s on the horizon as they continue to grow.
Hi Jennifer! Prior to Collaborate, how were you handling cases and reporting, and how has that changed with Collaborate?
All the stakeholders were using different systems - the District Attorney’s office had one tool, nurses were using an Epic, and forensic interviewers were using spreadsheets. I remember crying at one point - I spent 24 hours trying to clean up a spreadsheet to show how kids were being handed off through each step of the process.
With Collaborate, everything is consolidated into one system, and I’m so grateful for it. It’s been such a huge time saver, and operationally it allows us to easily meet our standards for accreditation. We’re becoming super users, and it’s helped us out exponentially.
Your center has seen tremendous growth lately - what are the keys to that growth?
Embedding data as a performance management tool for our work into everything we do. Once we adopted Collaborate, our Victim Advocates were able to properly capture all the services and activities they provided to kids. When we pulled that data from Collaborate, we were able to see the volume of the total services we were providing, and used this to garnish more support and funding. If you look at our Impact Report (PDF), all that data came from Collaborate.
We got another $2.5 million in funding in two years - there was no way we could’ve done it without the reports from Collaborate. We’ve grown from 10 to 25 staff, and improved our services across the board. Now we can share the story of our impact - everything we pull from Collaborate, we communicate to all our stakeholders.
Would you say you’re a data-driven agency now?
Absolutely. Data drives every decision we make here, from the age of kids we serve, where they come from geographically, and where we need to expand services to. With Collaborate, we can answer questions like “What law enforcement offices aren’t bringing their kids to us?”, to see who hasn’t gotten a Medical Exam or Forensic Interview, and contact the detective to make sure we see them.
Collaborate is a big part of our job, and it’s really shaped the operational decisions we’ve been making.
What’s next for your CAC?
We’re hoping to open a satellite office in the South Bay, and we’re expanding behavioral health services by hiring three new clinical social workers. We’re also using data to drive staff training and professional development.
I’ve recommended Collaborate to the rest of the DA Office as well, for them to use it to manage other victim services.
Thanks very much for sharing your story! It’s inspiring to see.
I’m happy to share, and thank you!
The CAC of Santa Clara County is a success story in using smart software to increase funding, grow staff and services, and improve service quality. To see how Collaborate can impact your agency, reach out to us.