Barnsley Domestic Violence Group

Database

The scope of this project was to implement a ‘system’ having an IT component, which could be used to record incidents of Domestic Violence (DV) in Barnsley, South Yorkshire. The project would monitor and analyse trends in DV within Barnsley (e.g. “are younger women victims of DV more than they were 18 months ago”). The scope did not extend to developing a case management tool.

The project team was comprised representatives from a number of agencies working with domestic violence cases, including the Domestic Violence group, the police, the housing department, the women’s refuge and the local district hospital.

The project aimed to deliver supportive information for funding applications made by these various agencies and to provide information to allow management and reconfiguration of services to best meet the area’s needs.

An initial workshop was held, attended my representatives from all of the agencies, to capture requirements for the new database system. Specifically, the workshop had the aim of reaching agreement on the following:

  • A common set of data items which could be recorded by the various agencies and which had relevance in the project context
  • An appropriate and practical method of recording these data items by each agency and methods of entry into a common database
  • A common set of codes for attributes such as ethnicity, relationship status, etc which could be used by all agencies
  • Analysis and reports which the system should or should be capable of delivering
  • Users, user roles, security

Following this initial workshop a prototype was developed by Illuminaries and reviewed and refined across a number of subsequent workshops, to arrive at a solution which everyone felt met the requirements and they were comfortable with using.

The solution was a windows based application which recorded data in an Access database. Each agency ran its own copy of the application and was to submit a copy of its database each month to the DV Topic Group, who would merge the datasets using software developed specifically to manage this function. Reports were then to be generated against the merged dataset.

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