Service Provider Journey

This Toolkit item compares the experience of a service provider, before and after applying the Policy's advice:

Service Provider Journey

Scenario: City Centre Social Services (CCSS) is a social service provider that has run a number of different parenting programmes, children's programmes and delivered family support. A new programme called “Best foot forward” is up for tender from a Government agency, it’s a joint parenting and children's programme. This map shows the journey of CCSS and the Agency in terms of data and information considerations as the “Best foot forward” programme is designed and delivered.

Not thinking about the Policy

  • Action: The Agency identifies the need for a new programme and starts designing “Best foot forward” and its evaluation plan.
  • Thought/Feeling:“Last time all these decisions were made about clients information that didn’t work out well. Does the agency remember that – we are worried it will happen again” “Can we share our learning to help?”
  • Action: CCSS successfully applies for the tender and an agreement for the service is put together. 
  • Thought/Feeling: “We need to show how successful we are with services like this – can we put information about the other families we have helped in the tender?”

    “This agreement has data and information requirements we don’t understand. Can we say no?”

  • Action: CCSS provides quarterly data and information about or from service users to the Agency.
  • Thought/Feeling“This information is just going into a black hole. Who sees it? Who at the agency is using what parts of it?”

    “We feel we’re breaching the families trust – but what can we do? We don’t know what to say to families about their information – it feels unethical.” 

  • Action: During the programme some families ask about what information CCSS or the Agency holds about them, they want to check that it’s correct. 
  • Thought/Feeling: “We gave information to the Agency – what happens now?”

    “We’re anxious as we don’t know what the process is here – how do we make sure we do the right thing?”

  • Action: The Agency works on the evaluation of “Best foot forward”
  • Thought/Feeling: “How are they doing this – who gets to say what ‘success’ means for ‘Best foot forward’? Will it only be what the agency thinks?”

    “We’re scared that if the information is misunderstood then the evaluation will be stop us getting new contracts.”

Thinking about the Policy

  • Action: The Agency invites providers like CCSS (and potential service users) to co-design the programme  including where, how and why data or information about families is collected or used.
  • Thought/Feeling: “It’s great everyone’s views around data and information have been taken on board. We learned a lot about how the agency wants to use it safely and respectfully. Our expertise was valued.”

    “The families seem to get how important information about them is to show how this programme helps. They want to be part of that.”

  • Action: CCSS works out they won’t need to identify anyone. But some of the “stories” are still quite personal. CCSS holds sessions with service users to get their thoughts on what is reasonable to share in the tender.

    The Agency advisor sets up a time to talk with CCSS about a draft contract. They come to a mutual agreement about what data or information will be shared, when, how and why.

  • Thought/Feeling: “We feel much more confident we are sharing the right kind of information for the right purpose.”

    “It feels really respectful to be treated like a real partner in making decisions about what information to collect or use, how it will be used, and have a consistent focus on the wellbeing of those who will use this service, their whānau, and communities.”

  • Action: Information and data used for the evaluation is sent to one part of the Agency. Information and data used to report on service delivery is sent to another part because they have different purposes and uses.

    The Agency and CCSS work together to describe for parents and children what data and information will be used, by whom, and why.

  • Thought/Feeling: “We have a clear understanding about what information flows where and who sees it. It’s really transparent and that helps us trust what's going on.”
    “We are relieved we can meet our ethical and legal obligations to families to be open and honest with them about where their information goes and why.”
  • Action: CCSS and the Agency have a protocol for managing requests like this. Service users only have to ask CCSS who then accesses the information the Agency holds on their behalf. CCSS and the Agency work together on explanations about this process for families.

    CCSS has a policy of giving families copies of any written work or records about them in both adult and child versions.

  • Thought/Feeling: “We are equipped with an easy to follow process – it makes life so much easier! And it means we can provide better support for families – we are proud of that.”
  • Action: The Agency tells CCSS any outcomes of information use (e.g. decisions, advice or reports it informed).

    For the evaluation the Agency invites providers and families to workshops analysing the information, and discussing how to report the findings. 

    A CCSS staff member is learning about data analysis. The Agency involves them in the evaluation to build their skills.

  • Thought/Feeling“It's so useful to know how the information is used, we can report that to our Board and stakeholders to show the influence we have.”

    “Our knowledge and skills, and the families’, are really being respected and supported by the Agency. We know that the evaluation is going to be fair and of high quality so we can trust what it says.”