With the new ASB Crime & Policing Act starting in October 2014, the emphasis on the quality of case management for ASB cases has become ever more important. Bracknell Forest Homes have implemented an innovative way of ensuring that their case officers are managing cases in line with best practice, which increases tenant satisfaction.
Housing Services Manager, Andrew McDonald, explains the process below;
What is the Mid Case Review?
The Mid Case Review (or MCR) is a quality assurance process for live ASB cases.
While the industry is full of tips for achieving legal outcomes, we identified a gap for monitoring and improving the day-to-day case management process.
Why did we devise it?
The process was developed at Genesis Housing Association. A member of the G15, Genesis has over 40,000 properties across London and the South East. The desire was to introduce a system that could ensure consistency of case management across such a wide spread organisation. When I moved to Bracknell Forest Homes I was eager to implement the process again.
How does it work?
The MCR is a way of measuring the performance of ASB case managers against set criteria. The simple to use form focuses on the documents, stages and quality factors that influence customer satisfaction. The reviews ensure consistency of practice between individuals and geographical areas.
How was it implemented?
Reviewing a set number of active cases per month, the system has been designed around the ReACT ASB system. Supervisors examine cases every month, checking for the correct documentation, appropriate use of ReACT stages, quality of correspondence and contact with victims. The scores are then added to a formula led spreadsheet that can produce scores by individual, team or area.
Does it work?
When launched at Genesis HA in November 2011 to March 2013 average scores rose from 54% to 75%, and satisfaction results showed a parallel increase.
After been introduced at Bracknell Forest Homes, a 7,000 property Housing Association in the South East, in just 8 months, the Neighbourhood Services team’s average MCR score has risen from 32% to 81%.
HouseMark’s Senior Consultant, Adam Knight-Markiegi, works with organisations hoping to achieve HouseMark ASB Accreditation, measured against the RESPECT standards. His perspective on quality management is as follows;
“I really like Bracknell Forest’s example of the Mid Case Review. Consistent day-to-day management of ASB cases is the cornerstone of a good ASB service.
When assessing organisations for the ASB Accreditation scheme, badly managed cases raises the red flag. It highlights that staff don’t regularly review cases or keep victims updated. In contrast, having a mid-point review helps to focus staff and managers.
HouseMark likes to see case officers following good procedures, agreeing clear action plans with victims and reviewing cases regularly. Revisiting cases ensures you keep talking to those suffering ASB, it updates them on progress being made and shows them that you take ASB seriously.
Regularly reviewing cases can also help organisations change tack. For example, it may highlight more extensive ASB than originally reported, so allowing you to intervene more quickly or look for alternative support. A regular review can also help resolve matters sooner, which is better for victims, better than a vulnerable perpetrator losing their home and can resolve the dispute quicker for the landlord.
Using the Mid Case Review also helps ASB managers ensure consistency and helps to pick out any training needs for staff. For example, it can show if case officers understand the tools and powers in their grasp. The Review can also help spot any patterns across cases. This can then be used to improve the service, such as communicating with victims in different ways (face-to-face, phone, email, text message etc).
Meeting your responsibilities to tenants and the wider community are key in addressing ASB. A Mid Case Review helps this, tying it back to customer satisfaction, improving work by officers and boosting performance, as seen by Genesis and Bracknell Forest. This shows the real potential to improve how you manage and resolve ASB cases.”
ReACT hosted a webinar on Wednesday 11th February 2015. To get your exclusive recording, click on the following link;
ReACT will be holding an open morning in Reading (exact location to be confirmed) WC 23rd March 2015 9.30am – 11.00am. This will cover ASB quality management and HouseMark’s ASB accreditation scheme in more detail. Invites will be sent out once the exact date and location are confirmed.