A “game-changer” is how executive director Manisha Willms of the OSNS Child and Youth Development Centre described a recent grant from the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC).
The centre’s mission is to “maximize the developmental growth, emotional health and creative capacity of children and youth in the South Okanagan Similkameen through early intervention and family-centred care,” according to its website.
The $10,000 grant will go toward a technology upgrade that will fundamentally change the efficiency of treatment for its young clients.
“It is so important that treatment be measurable. That we objectively show progress, rather than rely on observations that children ‘seem to be doing better,’” said Willms. “Up to now, all the data on how children do with every new goal has been kept by hand in large binders. The data gets reviewed by the clinical teams on the cyclical basis and goals are then updated.
“The technology made possible by this grant is going to change all that.”
Data will now be gathered within a purpose-built platform on iPads and a master list of goals will immediately be communicated to clinical teams so children can quickly go on to working on the next set of skills.
“Improvement needs to be measurable at every step,” said Willms. “Many of our children work on multiple goals each time they come in for a session. These goals are often a combination of motor, communication and cognitive skills. And for every goal, we keep data on each time a child tries – whether it’s comprehension of a new concept like ‘before’ or using alternate feet to walk climb stairs.”
Until now, all that data was recorded by hand and kept in large binders.
“If you go back to the long-standing history between RBC and OSNS, you see a strong commitment in our team’s dedication to services for children in the South Okanagan,” said Ray Warren, RBC vice president of commercial financial services in a news release. “It goes without saying that we would look to partner in other ways. Digital technology is part of the future and what better way to be involved than to supply hardware and software that improves treatment for children. RBC is a digitally enabled relationship bank so this project for OSNS is a perfect fit.”