Service User Journey
The Policy is all about focusing on those who use the wide range of services across the social sector. This is why the He tāngata principle comes first - our actions in the collection and use of people's information should focus on improving New Zealanders' lives — individuals, children and young people, whānau, iwi, and communities.
This Toolkit item looks at a service user's experience before and after applying the good practice advice in the Policy:
Scenario: James and Janis are separating, they have two kids. During the last few months James became more hurt, confused and angry. The Police were called during arguments. The last time James hit a hole in the wall and pushed Janis, who fell into a coffee table. The kids were in their rooms. James adores his kids and wants to share care of them but doesn’t feel confident as a parent.
James and Janis are going through the Family Court around care of the children.
James self-refers to the “Kids First” parenting programme run by City Centre Social Services (CCSS). This map shows his journey in terms of data and information and the difference that thinking about the Policy could make to his experience.
Each step, looks at an action or situation that happens as part of the service, and James' experience or thought about that.
Before applying the Policy's advice
- Action: James fills in a form which says “we will share your information with relevant agencies”. The Programme co-ordinator doesn’t mention it and James doesn’t know what to ask.
- Thought/Feeling: “How much of what I say will end up with the Police? Can I trust these people? Maybe I shouldn’t do this if it will make things worse.”
- Action: James talks about being a parent and things he finds tough. Everyone is given ideas to try at home and talk with the group about. Their stories and experiences are written up on big posters and the facilitator takes notes.
- Thought/Feeling: “Who gets to see all that? Does she write my name next to stuff I say? Why? Someone might find out what I say and think I’m a bad dad!”
- Action: James’ lawyer tells him the Court wants to know how he’s going on the course. James asks the facilitator about it, he wants to know what’ll be said and wants a say. The facilitator says it’s not up to her – he should talk to someone else.
- Thought/Feeling: “She should know and help me. She’s the one who records everything! I’m so frustrated. It’s too risky to keep coming here.”
- Action: His lawyer gives him a copy of the report from CCSS and he sees mistakes. It mentions alcohol use as a problem. But James doesn’t drink. He wants this corrected and the Court to be told. He doesn’t know what the process is for getting this fixed.
- Thought/Feeling: “Someone must have stuffed up! Maybe they want me to lose my kids! Why? I’m so angry – this could be really bad. I can’t trust them."
- Action: When James finishes the course he wants a copy of his information in case he needs it later on. CCSS tell him he must do a “Privacy Act” request – James assumes that means his lawyer has to do it.
- Thought/Feeling: “This is so stressful – I can’t afford a lawyer. It’s my information so why is it so hard to get it? I’m not doing anything like this again.”
After applying the Policy's advice
- Action: The form James fills in says MSD (the programme funder) is only told how many people attend, gender and number of kids they care for. Information that can show who he is doesn’t go to MSD, and is only shared with his agreement unless Oranga Tamariki, Police or the Courts ask for it. The Co-ordinator asks if he has any questions. He asks if he’ll get a say about what is shared. He will unless staff think it will put his kids at risk.
- Thought/Feeling: “I’m really confident about this, I know I can have a say in what happens with my notes. I can’t wait to get started – it’s going to be good for me.”
- Action: The facilitator begins with discussion and agreement from the group on how information will be handled. They decide that anything on the walls will be done on post-it notes the participants can take away with them, or thrown in the “document destruction” bin. The facilitator shows the participants they notes they make at regular intervals.
- Thought/Feeling: “It feels so easy to talk about the hard stuff here because I knows it’s safe.”
- Action: James’ lawyer tells him the Court wants to know how he’s going on the course. Collectively the CCSS team and James talk about the response. James would rather some information isn’t shared but understands why CCSS needs to. Overall he thinks it’s fair and balanced.
- Thought/Feeling: “I’m grateful the facilitator helped me so fast. They’ve respected me, even if we don’t agree on all the info. I’m relieved there won’t be any surprises for me in Court.”
- Action: James realises something is wrong in the report to the Court – it says he has a drinking problem, but he doesn’t drink. He tells the facilitator who arranges for him to talk with the Manager that afternoon. CCSS urgently works out what happened. They send a corrected version to the social worker, the lawyer and to James.
- Thought/Feeling: “It’s reassuring to know they took this so seriously, worked out what went wrong and made it right. It makes me trust them even more.”
- Action: When James enrolled he was told he can ask to see any notes about him and ask for corrections. All he has to do is ask the facilitator. However CCSS has a policy of proactively giving clients copies of their information at the end of the programme regardless of any request.
- Thought/Feeling: “Wow – it’s cool to have proof of how far I’ve come. Some of this is hard to read - but it’s my story, not just stuck on a computer somewhere.”