Measuring and reporting on client impact

Windana and our landmark Client Impact Measurement strategy was profiled at the recent Australia and New Zealand Addiction Conference held in Queensland in early June.

Using a bespoke Theory of Change model, Windana and Navigating Outcomes worked extensively with staff and clients to re-identify and agree on a series of indicators that help to identify what success looks like in the AOD recovery context. The client impact tools that are being used will help demonstrate that recovery extends to a client experiencing improved confidence and capacity, achievement of personal goals, positive relationships with family and friends, stable accommodation and improved financial wellbeing.

“We want to be able to define and share the impact we are making. We wanted to tell everyone that what we are doing is working and here is the evidence.”

Launched as a pilot at the Windana TC in December 2017, the Outcomes Measurement tools are already proving to be valuable in the way client impact can be assessed, measured and reported across the Windana client group. Staff are also embracing this new approach as a key part of the therapeutic relationship. “We knew that any attempt to introduce impact measurement to our treatment services and programs would only be possible if our staff were fully on-board. I am inspired by our people in how they are responding and engaging in the process.”

After only two weeks, residents of the TC enrolled in the pilot, reported they experienced less stress, as well as indicating they were sleeping better and eating more regularly. As these clients progressed through the first phase, this group experienced significant increases in feelings of connection to community and sense of responsibility. These are both critical steps in the Theory of Change as well as to the adjustment required to be fully engaged in their TC recovery journey.

Windana and Navigating Outcomes have worked together for more than 12 months to create the Outcomes Measurement Framework. One of the surveys used is the Client Assessment Inventory developed by pre-eminent expert in Therapeutic Communities George De Leon.

“We wanted to draw from the deep insights and experience of De Leon who is revered in the practice of TC around the world” said Clare. “This is such an important innovation for Windana. It will be transformational for our clients, for our people and ultimately for our funders in helping re-define what success means for clients in AOD recovery.”

Clare Davies
Executive Director