Mercy Home for Boys & Girls
The mission of Mercy Home for Boys & Girls is to save young lives by providing a safe, nurturing residential treatment home, Aftercare support for former residents and their families, community-based and site-based youth mentoring; Promoting therapeutic, educational, vocational, spiritual and life skill development; and raising public awareness of youth in need.
The Blueprint Project will provide Mercy Home the ability to continually evaluate how effectively we deliver care to our youth and allocate resources, allowing for the wise consideration of future investments. This information, in turn, will inform and guide operations providing ongoing evidence designed to benchmark meaningful, measurable and sustainable change.
Mercy Home is committed to providing evidence-based treatment plans for youth who have experienced complex developmental trauma. These individualized treatment plans provide a path towards healing and growth for our youth and their families, and allows them to recover from the trauma they have experienced. To fulfill our mission, Mercy Home has been developing the Blueprint Project in order to create the most effective and efficient treatment plan for each person who walks through our doors. The project allows our staff to support youth in achieving better outcomes, such as educational and vocational advancement, development of independent living skills, and working through complex trauma.
The Blueprint Project will improve the delivery of care to youth and their families who have been at the center of Mercy Home’s mission for 130 years. The project establishes Mercy Home as a leader in residential care for youth affected by complex trauma, strengthening the agency’s credibility in the social service field, and being recognized for program success by families, researchers and industry thought leaders.
Thanks to the generous support of the First Nonprofit Foundation:
Mercy Home has completed 36 Blueprint training sessions for 220 staff members; has 42 supervisors, who are staff more like “experts” in using Blueprint; and had 109 youth files converted from Wingspan to Blueprint.
In addition, while we are relatively early on in the implementation of Blueprint, the following stories exemplify the impact the project has had already:
- Information is stored in a centralized, easy-to-find place, which helps us act quickly.
A Mercy Home youth had a medical emergency. Afterwards, our Organizational Development and Information Technology Departments received feedback from staff that Blueprint was very helpful for quickly accessing all the youth’s information in a central location and expediting the process of getting the youth medical treatment. The user can go to one screen and find the youth’s date of birth, medical insurance information, current and past medical conditions, etc. Previously, this information would have been spread across several paper documents stored in the youth’s hard copy file.
- Less time cleaning and managing the data, more time analyzing it and understanding what it means.
Our Organizational Development Department is responsible for routing some quarterly and monthly reporting on certain data points. For example, these include occupancy, length of stay, admissions numbers, incidents, youth birthdays, etc. Since transitioning fully to Blueprint, Organizational Development staff time completing these reports has been cut in half. In Wingspan, these reports required a good deal of manual work after extracting the data. In Blueprint, all the data extracts were designed to reduce the amount of manual work.
- More data directly in the hands of the people doing the work so they can examine what they are doing and make adjustments in real time.
Following-up on the item above, our Organizational Development and Information Technology Departments are developing a series of data extracts for staff to be able to access. They recently completed those for the Admissions and Referral Services Department and, now, the data extracts can be accessed directly within Blueprint. These extracts allow staff to directly access the data they need for their CQI process and for exploratory analysis of their work. For example, staff can extract data sets about all the appointments they hold with prospective youth, about the length of the admissions process, about referral demographics, and about occupancy. Formerly, they had to rely on the Organizational Development Department to do these data sets manually each quarter. Now, they can access the data themselves at whatever interval they want.
As we began to implement Blueprint at Mercy Home, we knew that it would be a significant undertaking, with challenges small and large, but as we overcome the hurdles inherent with such a project, we have already begun realizing the benefits of Blueprint. The examples above illustrate that while there have been obstacles during the transition to Blueprint, the preliminary results have been very positive. We anticipate an expansion of these results and, going forward, an enhanced ability to provide ongoing evidence designed to benchmark meaningful, measurable and sustainable change.