Background and History
Catholic Social Services (CSS) is a social services agency, guided by faith to care for and bring hope to people in need with humility, compassion and respect. In 1961, CSS began with one staff person and a small budget. 60 years later, CSS is now the largest multi-function social services agency in Alberta, one of the largest in Canada, serving more than 21,000 individuals annually. CSS works in three priority areas: serving people with developmental disabilities; lifting individuals, children, and families; and welcoming newcomers to Canada. Approximately 60% of their work is conducted in Edmonton and area while the remaining 40% takes place in 11 other communities throughout central Alberta. They serve people of all cultures and faiths (or no faith) throughout Edmonton and central Alberta.
CSS and their partner organizations were using a paper form to conduct assessments and determine which services were required to assist each of their clients who are newcomers to Canada. They were looking to move to a new centralized model of service and needed a digital assessment tool which would streamline their work and ease the manual burden of determining their client’s needs.
Their challenges were:
- Manual, time consuming paper process
- Decentralized model of service
- Lack of reporting and insight into in-progress assessments
Spot Solutions transformed their paper form into a modern digital app. This project included the development of:
- A bi-lingual Microsoft Power Platform Canvas App
- Dataverse environments
- Power Automate workflows
The mobile NAARS app was designed to guide the worker through each of the assessment domains, automatically calculate the client’s needs on a needs scale, and generate a settlement plan for the client which outlines the action steps they can take to help them settle into their new home in Canada.
CSS and their partner organizations now have a consistent method of assessing and assisting their clients, and the assessments can be conducted anywhere there is access to the internet.
Now they can:
- Provide service using a centralized model.
- Achieve consistency in their assessments
- Repurpose time from manual data entry to more value-add activities