Impact measurement to support families facing childhood cancer

For Redkite, measuring the outcomes of their services means they can better support families facing childhood cancer. Accessing timely insights through Socialsuite’s platform will allow them to do this fast and with ease.

For more than 35 years, Redkite has been a lifeline for families facing childhood cancer. Emotional, financial and practical support starts from the moment of a child’s diagnosis and continues throughout their treatment, and after treatment has ended. Redkite’s commitment to ensuring no family faces their child’s cancer alone means the national charity’s approach is as varied as the families they support.

In 2019, Redkite supported around 2600 families living with the impact of childhood cancer across Australia.

Redkite provides vital support including:

  • A community-based information, support and counselling service
  • A financial assistance program, helping ease financial stress on families
  • An education grants program
  • Other information and support resources for support families through their experience – from diagnosis packs, a Book Club and resources for bereaved families

Redkite also funds hospital-based social workers in paediatric hospitals across the country as well as a team of music therapists - both critical supports for children as they go through cancer treatment.

Demonstrating the outcomes of our services on families is critical to securing funding.

Natalie Jurisic, Manager, Research, Evaluation & Innovation
Natalie Jurisic, Manager, Research, Evaluation & Innovation
For over 35 years, Redkite has been a lifeline for families facing childhood cancer.
Around 2,600 families were supported by Redkite in 2009.
Around 3,800 individuals received support from Redkite in 2009.

Measuring impact matters

Knowing the support families need during these incredibly tough times ensures Redkite can offer the right suite of services. And assessing the outcomes of services on these families helps the organization improve their offering – and their impact.

Coupled with a growing interest from supporters about the difference Redkite’s support is making in the lives of families, outcomes measurement is critical for the organization.

"Being able to demonstrate the outcomes of our services on families is increasingly critical to securing funding. It’s the bedrock of expectations that many funders now have."
Natalie Jurisic
Manager, Research, Evaluation & Innovation @ Redkite

Redkite recognised this a number of years ago, and in 2015 developed its first Client Outcomes Framework that aligns key outcomes with their services. This year Redkite have developed a ‘new and improved’ version, working with a Lived Experience Advisory Group, to ensure it’s aligned to client needs and takes into account strategic focus areas too. This framework forms the foundation for regular and ad-hoc surveys evaluating services. However, for a small but busy Research, Evaluation and Innovation team - with a broad remit across the organization – a leaner, more automated approach to collecting this data is needed to monitor key outcomes.

The journey to impactful insights

With Socialsuite’s outcomes measurement platform, Redkite can integrate its Salesforce data with outcomes data collected from families being supported, into one simple dashboard.  The team has a more holistic view of their outcomes story, without having to create bespoke surveys each time they wanted outcomes measures.

“The fact that Socialsuite plugged into Salesforce was one of [Socialsuite’s] biggest selling points”

Redkite conducted a pilot outcomes evaluation using Socialsuite on their Education and Career Support service. The pilot highlighted the importance of finding appropriate ways to engage with young people when evaluating programs and emphasised the value in using tools like Socialsuite for larger, less bespoke programs.  It laid the groundwork for using Socialsuite to measure the impact of Redkite’s largest service, the Financial Assistance Program.

The ongoing evaluation of this program began in October 2020 and involves a baseline survey to families before they start receiving financial assistance from Redkite, followed by subsequent 6-month and 12-month surveys to capture the outcomes of this support.

During the 2020 pandemic, Redkite also used Socialsuite’s COVID-19 Impact Assessment Tool. The tool was developed to help non-profit organizations measure the effects of COVID on the mental health of beneficiaries

Adding extra questions to the survey, and comparing data with Socialsuite’s findings, Redkite learned that the families they support were more likely to feel fearful, stressed and anxious than the wider Australian community. Redkite has used these insights to help staff to better understand what families were going through at the peak of the pandemic, helping them better and engage with donors and funding bodies.

“The data became really important in helping talk about the challenges that families we support are facing during the pandemic. Our supporters and donors have been very receptive to this story.”
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