Better Futures is an outcomes-monitoring tool used by housing support providers throughout Scotland. Its unique scoring system enables support workers to create individually tailored support plans, and to update and track progress over time. As well as its usefulness as an outcomes-monitoring tool for supported people individually, the information gathered can be aggregated and reported, enabling services and providers to understand and articulate the impacts and outcomes of the services they provide.
Better Futures was launched in March 2011 when a small band of provider organisations trialled a new way of measuring and recording outcomes digitally. It was an exciting opportunity to change the way housing support information was captured and shared in the digital era, catapulting Scottish providers into new 21st century ways of working.
Everyone involved was driven by the need to develop a framework that balanced consistency and standardisation with the recognition that all individuals receiving housing support have unique circumstances and needs. The aspiration was to accurately record and articulate outcomes for supported individuals and the services that support them by:
- Creating an online tool for commissioners and providers
- Presenting individual progress over time through individual support planning and reviews
- Enabling aggregation of data to assist service planning/improvement with the potential to support strategic planning
Today around 40 provider organisations and nearly 2,000 support staff log into the system on a regular basis to aid their support of 50,000 people across the length and breadth of Scotland.
The scoring system
The Better Futures Outcomes Framework is made up of five broad goals, with a range of specific elements of support under each:
The accommodation goal enables supported people and staff to record outcomes according to suitability of property and security of tenure.
The framework is designed to allow recording of information around access to services for physical and mental health, as well as addictions.
Safety & Security
The elements of support considered under ‘safety and security’ include: domestic abuse; legal issues; safety from harassment; risks and emergency procedures; and use of technology.
Social & Economic Wellbeing
Better Futures records information to track progress around life skills, money matters and personal admin, leisure, social interaction and self-esteem.
Employment & Meaningful Activity
The framework encourages supported people to work with support staff to measure progress in developing core skills, undertaking training and education programmes, looking for work, sustaining employment, and engaging in meaningful activity.
Read more about the scoring system and how it works:
Interested in Better Futures?
If you are intrigued by the opportunities Better Futures could offer your organisation, we would love to hear from you. The Housing Support Enabling Unit will help you explore if Better Futures is right for your service and offer a free demonstration of the system, guiding you through the basics of adding a record to the online system, setting up a support plan and recording outcomes.
Then, on joining the Better Futures network, you will enjoy:
- Invitations to super user group meetings – where organisations using Better Futures inform ongoing system changes and developments and have the opportunity to network with other housing support providers.
- Full set-up on the system – We’ll support you through the whole set up process and can give advice about what choices you have to tailor the system to your organisation.
- And free in-house training where, as part of your first year’s fee, we’ll deliver a half-day training session for staff teams.