BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres

ELST Provincial Program Manager

Logo of BC Association of Aborginal Friendship Centres (BCAAFC).

The BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres (BCAAFC) is the umbrella association for the 25 Friendship Centres throughout the Province of British Columbia. Friendship Centres are community hubs for the 80-85% of BC’s Indigenous people who live off-reserve. They offer culturally safe programs and services, and provide a welcoming space for all members of the community to share knowledge and connect with others.

The BCAAFC approached us around finding a solution for the employment programs in place at seven Centres across BC. These Centres reported to the BCAAFC, and the program funders required many different statistics and reporting points for the program. With diverse services being offered from Centre to Centre, the data collection was not unified, and each Centre was doing it differently. Client management and amalgamating the program stats without a standardized system were becoming major challenges.

The BCAAFC Employment Database was created around three main components: an intake process, a client profile, and the reporting module. We built this with a UX-first approach, so the coordinators would be able to use the system intuitively, without making the changes from their current workflow too complex. We also included features such as meeting reminders, collection of points of service and stats, ability to add custom training and supports, budget tracking, success story input, and other features.

A laptop and smartphone with the ELST system on screen.
A close up of hands writing down notes into a booklet.

After one year of implementing the new system, the ELST team helped 1,434 clients and 4,932 client interactions – an increase of 66% of clients and supports. It increased past 2,000 clients and 6,500 client interactions for the 2022/ 2023 fiscal – over doubling both interactions, client accessing the program, and number of employment and education supports participants have received. Over 1,500 people in BC have received trainings and certificates, and over 6,000 employment supports have been received since the launch of the system. Over 1,900 individuals in BC have been trained up for job readiness, and 1,200 have found employment through the program since the adoption of the system – many from northern and rural communities.

Since then, we’ve also made upgrades and refinements to the system to support coordinators in administering their programs, and leveraging their data to effectively advocate for funding and react to the needs of their program participants. We continue to support the system to today.

The screen of the ELST system entering a client.

The new ELST system is a success story we are proud to be part of. It represents how technology can help the bigger picture at hand, which is helping Indigenous Community have more access to supports. Seeing real impacts, and hearing how the system generated both jobs and new funding directly because of the data derived from the system is incredible for our team. Hearing stories like these are the reason we build systems for our Community, and for non-profits. Being able to bring positive outcomes to our clients is exactly why we started Ursa Creative.

The [ELST] system is much easier to use, it’s intuitive, user friendly, and the data is much more comprehensive and presented in a better way. The ELST system significantly increased the program’s efficiency and has had direct impacts on our communities who adopted the system.” – Megan Boddy, Former BCAAFC ELST Administrator

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