How S.N.A.P. is Changing the Landscape of Children’s Mental Health
Stop Now And Plan’s (SNAP®) spreadsheet-based administrative process needed a software solution to accommodate its Canada-wide expansion of mental health services. Not only did SNAP need a way to consolidate and track all stages of their implementation and service delivery around the world, they also needed to maintain fidelity and create a support system for their affiliate offices across the country and beyond. SmartSimple delivered a cloud-based centralized system that enabled SNAP to collect and report data across all of their locations to best serve families and support internal and external stakeholders during all stages of program implementation.
SNAP is an evidence-based, gender-specific intervention program with a proven track record in changing lives. SNAP teaches children ages 6-11 and their families how to stop and think before they act and make better choices “in the moment.” Child Development Institute (CDI), an accredited children’s mental health agency based in Toronto, developed SNAP over 33 years ago as a response for at-risk children in conflict with the law. Since then, the SNAP program has grown and evolved into an internationally recognized and award-winning early intervention model.
Spreadsheets creating a spread-thin administrative process
In 2014, SNAP launched its 5-year international expansion project to reach 140 communities across Canada through localized partnerships. To date, SNAP is currently meeting its national targets and have over 70 sites worldwide. Prior to this, tracking down data took precious administrative hours, creating a lag in communication between SNAP and its teams. While the SNAP program was effectively scaling on a national level, consistent and clear communication with both internal teams and external partners was critical. "Our data was in need of centralization through an innovative operational platform so that we could work more efficiently toward our ambitious goal," says Margaret Walsh, Manager, Research and Evaluation for SNAP. “SmartSimple helped change how we communicate our findings to licensed sites. We now have a platform to gather our data and best serve our families,” adds Walsh.
The need for a system to bring everything together
Before SmartSimple, SNAP didn’t have access to configurable software. "We wanted to develop a tool to track all stages of our program's processes, from pre-implementation to service delivery," says Walsh. SNAP was looking for a reliable solution that spoke to all elements of their implementation work that included collecting and tracking activities both at SNAP headquarters and across all affiliate sites. "We wanted a centralized solution that does everything but slice bread," says Adam Donato, Researcher, SNAP.
When searching for systems, SNAP had a limited scope. "We were looking specifically for case management, and with SmartSimple, we were able to expand and realize the possibility of incorporating everything else," says Walsh. These other elements included pre-implementation management, implementation management (training, consultation), fund management, press and media management, and staff management (research studies, awards, outreach).
Working with technology to change the landscape of mental health
After working with the SmartSimple system, SNAP has structured and standardized the way it collects information. The SNAP pre-implementation team "loves" the system. "We now have a very organized way to track our data and build upon our expertise," says Walsh. The system has also provided built-in efficiencies in how the finance team tracks spending. "We've cut down on admin time by 50% — the whole staff has made their workflow more efficient," says Walsh. On the research side, SNAP has been able to collect data in a structured and standardized way. Clinicians can get real-time pre-treatment and post-treatment data, and with ad-hoc statistical analysis tools, SNAP can focus on unique ways to further deliver its services in children’s mental health. “We're changing the landscape of how children's mental health is addressed, with SmartSimple helping immensely in that process," says Leena Augimeri, Director, SNAP Scientific and Program Development.
Breaking new ground in mental health research
SNAP is now able to strategize more effectively and inform the mental health field as a whole. "Once we've analyzed the data, it helps to inform implementation processes and most importantly treatment response,” says Walsh. With their sights toward the future, SNAP is focusing on refining and building a polished system to get to the core pieces they need to scale into a broader, international community. "We're looking to integrate machine learning to link the quality of the training to the ability to affect the outcome of a child, creating a wraparound method to suggest the best treatment approach," says Adam Donato. "We're creating a hive mind resource," adds Donato.
As SNAP scales to add new communities, the SNAP team feels confident with its flexible system providing support every step of the way. "SmartSimple’s support over the years has been wonderful and has helped us in our mission to transform the lives of children, youth and their families," says Walsh. "I can't imagine how we could manage everything in our work without SmartSimple," concludes Walsh.