Healing House + Community CareLink: Partnering for a Fresh Start
We believe in the great work our partners can achieve with the support and tools of Community CareLink. And while we could ring our own firehouse bell (Get it? It’s a fire joke because our Client Advocate Ben Schloegel is also a Fire Captain! ) all day long, we thought we’d let an organization that recently completed implementation do the talking for a change.
We caught up with Judi Burkholder, the assistant director of Healing House in Kansas City, Mo. Judy shared her experience working with First Call Technology (FCT) and the implementation process of our case management software, Community CareLink.
Judi, tell us how Healing House contributes to the community?
We are a non-profit, faith-based substance abuse recovery organization but we offer so many other things.
Where should I start?! We offer adults transitional housing to provide safe and stable homes as they commit to overcoming addiction and becoming responsible and productive community members. Today we have 191 men, women and children across 14 homes and two apartment houses. We have a community recovery center with all-day classes, on-site daycare, employment and outreach services, bible study, and support for family reunification and pregnancy. Thank God for First Call Technology!
What do you mean by that?
Having data lets us measure our work. We have many programs that involve many individuals in different stages of recovery. Being able to track aftercare, employment status and income, how many are staying clean and sober and for how long, ages and demographics all help us provide information for state requirements and grant funding.
It sounds like you have a unique set of needs and programming. What was the implementation process like?
First we had to input all of our old paper records, and the FCT team was right there with us to answer any questions. After that, it took a lot of trial and error. The FCT team spent time listening to our why, asking questions about how and building a process that worked for us. For example, we need to document individuals that are making reentry from prison. We made adjustments until we found a process that captured every step of that process required by the state. We have 30- and 60-day and 6-month follow-up goals. When a family is working towards reunification, we need to communicate with the Department of Family Services. All of these programs and requirements are unique and FCT worked with us to build a system to meet our needs.
What can you do now with Community CareLink that you couldn’t do before?
What can’t we do? We can follow an individual from the application process through their outpatient aftercare or exit. Everything that the Missouri Department of Mental Health requires of us can now be pulled into a report in minutes. At any given time, we know exactly how many open beds we have and can anticipate when more will open up because we can pull average length of stay data. In short, we can serve more people better because we have accurate, whole-picture information. We are able to help them start a new life with fresh hope and purpose.
Choosing to implement case management software is a big financial commitment. How did you know Community CareLink was the right choice?
Absolutely, it’s a huge commitment. We had to wait two years to have the funding. But more than financial, it’s a commitment to the people in our community. We don’t want anyone slipping through the cracks, and we partner with a lot of community organizations and institutions to help us do that. Having all of the necessary information in one place is essential to be able to serve more people and families. We felt like the FCT team really understood our mission, our population and our community.
What’s one thing you’d tell a people-serving organization that’s in need of case management software about FCT?
I mean, I told Ben and Dale what we needed, they said they could do it, and they did it. What more can I say?
And that, folks, is what we call a mic drop.