Serving lower Fairfield County, Family Centers’ multi-disciplinary approach helps residents obtain the tools needed to establish a strong educational foundation, overcome complex and critical problems, carry on healthy productive lives and achieve personal improvement.
Since its inception in 1891, Family Centers has grown to offer quality education and human service programs that address the ever-changing challenges affecting residents of Stamford, Greenwich, Darien and New Canaan. Through 30 programs and services, Family Centers serves more than 23,000 Fairfield County residents each year.
Family Centers’ programs include preschool and early care programs for young children, mental health, bereavement and family counseling services, primary medical and dental services for school-aged children, vocational and self-sufficiency support, English language and basic literacy education, and much more.
In order to achieve the highest standards and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our services and staff, Family Centers must remain up-to-date on the latest technology. Improving the organization’s technological capacity not only meets many government-related requirements, but it also improves our ability to incorporate outcome-driven practices, increase staff productivity, and enhance client service delivery.
Through the support of the NPG, Family Centers – along with our partners Family & Children’s Agency (Norwalk) and LifeBridge (Bridgeport) – created a shared Information Technology collaborative called Fairfield County IT Collaborative (FCITC. By sharing infrastructure, software and support resources across all three agencies, FCITC has helped streamline all three agencies’ IT needs, and saved thousands in technology costs.
FCITC’s first order of business was to implement a shared electronic medical record (EMR) software platform to provide each partner agency with a client management database, an electronic medical record and a financial management system – all operating on a HIPAA-compliant hosting provider. This software provides all programs within the three partner agencies with improved data collection, automated manual processes, along with the cost savings and convenience associated with keeping electronic records for our clients.
FCITC also addressed each agencies’ dated infrastructure issues by replacing old desktop computers with Virtual Desktop technology and strengthened the overall server capacity. Overall, FCITC has helped Family Centers reduce its annual IT operating expenses more than 40%, while dramatically improving productivity and client service responsiveness.
The Link to Programmatic Results
These technological improvements are directly related to increased programmatic results. For example, thanks in part to the capabilities of our new servers, our Early Care and Education program has been able to incorporate specialized software to provide teachers with best practices and curriculum support to enhance classroom instruction and measure the developmental and educational progress of each child.
Across the entire agency, these new capabilities allow our program staff to easily run reports and analyze client data and outcomes. These outcomes and data points are regularly used to identify strengths and dictate areas of improvement.