Using Technology to Help Support Workers

  The Problem

The Money Carer Foundation works in partnership with care providers who support our mutual, vulnerable clients. Quite often, this can be a challenging role for both MCF and the care provider given the challenging behaviour of many of our clients and we strive to use technology in an innovative way in order to solve problems practically.

One example of this is how both MCF and their care provider partners can spend a disproportionate amount of time in dealing with, approving and processing relatively small and trivial additional money requests on top of agreed weekly budgets. For instance, if a client needs a new, winter coat and has the available funds to buy this, MCF are very unlikely to refuse to release funds for this item.

The operational reality however is disproportionality costly when amount of money requested and any associated risks in making these funds available.

  An Innovative Solution

In consultation with a number of key care provider partners, MCF’s banking and software engineers were able to develop a technology based solution using our unique banking platform and smartphone app. In short, we came up with a ‘Request Discretionary Funds’ button on our app for approved carers and support workers.

  How It Works

This feature links together a pre-approved amount of additional or ‘discretionary’ funds that are available to a verified support worker who has access to our smartphone app. The pre-approved level is set by MCF as the appointee and resets automatically after an agreed period of time. So, using the example of the winter coat requirement above, if the support worker needs an additional £60 to buy the coat for our mutual client then they can simply request this amount using a sliding scale in the smartphone app.

So long as the extra amount of £60 does not exceed the pre-approved extra funds level set by MCF in their control system the funds will be automatically added to the next payment run (of which MCF have 3 per day) and the money for the coat will be specifically made available for this purpose to the support worker. This innovation save a significant amount of time for the support worker as they are not required to complete and submit standard money request forms and provides an instant notification to the support worker via our smartphone app when the money is in their carers account also.