To celebrate the launch of a new virtual referral tool, Victim Services of Nipissing District hosted stakeholders on Thursday at the Grande Event Centre (see video above) to demonstrate the efficiency and ease of the "C3" app for making referrals. Attendees also had the opportunity to sign up as new community partners who use the app, improving access to services in Nipissing District.
"We're really excited to launch this app in this community," says Kathleen Jodouin, executive director of Victim Services of Nipissing District. "We're looking to end 'silo-ing' and to work better collaboratively as service partners to support the needs of our clients."
For example, if the police dispatch Victim Services' after-hours team tonight, to try to support a woman and her children and they are asking for some support with not-for-profit counselling, Jodouin explains the referral can be sent in real-time and first thing in the morning, the counsellor will open it up and make contact.
"We can see that our community partner has opened that referral and we can avoid some of the retelling," of difficult stories, she says.
Victim Services of Nipissing District is a non-profit organization that provides support and advocacy to victims of crime and tragedy in Nipissing District. The team of trained volunteers and staff offer emotional support, practical assistance, and referrals to appropriate community resources.
C3 is a new remote referral and service database that enables referrals to take place through one convenient app and website application. This innovative tool was made possible with funding from the Canadian Women's Foundation Shockproofing Community Fund, which aims to use technology to create more service access for victims of intimate partner violence.
Jodouin says the safe and secure app creates is a platform to send and accept referrals among service partners. The encrypted app will eliminate the use of email or even fax when dealing with private information.
"But, one agency alone cannot help to solve all problems," she notes.
The app largely came about due to the challenges and new delivery methods necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We are a 24/7 service so we are working with folks in the middle of the night, after hours, and on weekends, and this allows us to get those referrals out without waiting for Monday morning" Jodouin shares. "We are really trying to work together to support the folks in our community who need us."
Jodouin says a link to the C3 app will be included on the Victim Services website so clients can go on the platform to see the services that have signed up and do self-referrals.
"We are thrilled to introduce C3 to our community and offer a more streamlined and accessible referral system for those in need of our services," says Jodouin."The funding from the Canadian Women's Foundation has allowed us to implement this new technology and provide victims of intimate partner violence with more options for support."