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Just for Kids Law

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Accreditations & Partners

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Background

Just for Kids Law is a UK charity that works with and for children and young people to hold those with power to account and fight for wider reform by providing legal representation and advice, direct advocacy and support, and campaigning to ensure children and young people in the UK have their legal rights and entitlements respected and promoted. Just for Kids Law provide holistic support tailored to individual needs, backed up by legal support. 

The Challenge

“We had a database for 4 years that was our first database which was kind of OK at the time but we, as an organisation grew quite a lot over time and it wasn’t very adaptable – it was cheap and rigid.” Explains Joel Carter, Programmes Director. “We had lots of different types of work and needed something that tied everything together as we have many teams within Just for Kids Law, including face to face delivery team, Youth, Casework and Legal team.”

The Solution

“Compared to our last database Apricot is bespoke and designed around our needs, it has helped us determine and think up with a new way of how we could structure our client pathway, this being something we had not explored before. We are a lot clearer about the reporting and what actual data we are getting from Apricot. We used to have to make do with what we could get rather than thinking it through from the beginning, in terms of how the data entry was structured and entered. Now we can be confident in the information we are getting out of the system and have full control of building reports. It is much better than our previous system due to its flexibility.” Reflecting on the implementation process, Joel highlights how their initial plan to simply rectify their existing database needed re-evaluating for their organisation to benefit from the new software. “Our first day of implementation did home in on how customisable Apricot is. Looking back, we probably should have prepared an action plan in advance, as we spent a lot of time on restructuring how we wanted the forms to look, initially trying to replicate the way the old system worked. Thankfully, we had a lot of interaction with the team at Gallery, to help us through the process and soon found there were new and improved ways to utilise Apricot. We initially had a plan to include Legal Aid billing into the system, but the scale of the project and financial risks were too demanding for an initial rollout. On reflection, we should have had an upfront conversation around this project at the beginning, which potentially would have made it easier to implement further down the line. We were advised by Gallery that the options for this project scale are within Apricot’s functionality, but for an initial roll-out it would be best to keep the build simpler and scale up later. Their consultative advice did allow us to rethink this plan through and gave us time to reflect on how we want to approach this option at a later stage. We do have future plans to develop Apricot further for influencing Parliamentary work, plus our involvement with funders which we are confident is possible with Apricot.”Describing Apricot to a charity seeking a Case Management system solution, Joel advises; “From a user perspective, Apricot is within the remit of what you want it to do, yet there needs to be an understanding that it is not an “out of the box product.” Initial thought should be dedicated to how you want your data to be presented and exactly what you want to learn from your data, prior to the build. People want better data but are sometimes resistant to breaking out of current habits. They need to ensure they do the groundwork required to get the best out of Apricot, which ultimately will provide the clean data that they want. It is entirely customisable and you are not pushed down any particular route, which allows the system to be built around your needs.We are now 5 months into using Apricot and we are seeing a better picture about what we are learning from our data; what we can feed back; and it is noticeable what we were not getting from the previous database. On reflection in some part, the old system was providing meaningless information. Apricot is proving to be much more intuitive than the old system and reduces the need to fill out lots of different fields on forms which we were previously doing and were not relevant for our work.” 

Client Testimonial

“We used to have to make do with what we could get rather than thinking it through from the beginning, in terms of how the data entry was structured and entered. Now we can be confident in the information we are getting out of the system and have full control of building reports.” 

Joel Carter, Programmes Director