Circle Insights

The benefits St. Helens Youth Justice Service realises from CACI’s fully managed hosting solution

ChildView from CACI has been used by St Helens Youth Justice Service for over 15 years. This case study looks at its use of ChildView and the fully managed hosting service.

St Helens Youth Justice Service has been using ChildView from CACI for over 15 years. In May 2020 it decided to utilise CACI’s fully managed hosting solution to support its work. In this case study, we speak to Helen Williams, St Helens Youth Justice Service’s Information Officer about why the council decided to use the service and the benefits that it has brought about.

“One of the main reasons we decided to use the fully managed hosting service was to take the burden off the council’s internal IT department,” explains Helen. “Previously, any upgrades and issues went through that department. Being the council’s team, they are always very busy. We had to log issues with the internal helpdesk and take it from there. Given the scope of the council’s operations and the fact that we’re a small part of it, it often depended on who you got to speak to within the IT team as to whether they would fully understand the software and the problem. Now, when we go through CACI’s helpdesk, we know that we’ll be speaking to someone who fully understands the software and can help us immediately with the problem.

“Another factor was storage and server space. We hold a lot of data and this was taking up a lot of space in the council’s server room. The council was trying to reduce the number of servers it was hosting internally, so the offer from CACI to host our data was an appealing one. This also meant that we were able to utilise CACI’s security arrangements, whilst at the same time reducing the amount of space we were taking up in the council.”

Security was another factor for St Helens Youth Justice Service. CACI meets rigorous international security standards and is routinely tested to identify potential weaknesses. This enables customers to leverage CACI’s security spend in protecting their own data.

“We recently suffered a cyber-attack at the council which shut down most of our systems and we, as a council, lost access to a number of databases,” says Helen. “Because ChildView is hosted separately, however, we were still able to access the system and our data. This meant that we could continue to focus on our work, improving outcomes for the young people in our services.

“It also highlighted that we always have easy access to our data. I can grant access to the data to other people as required very easily and securely. The data works across other systems that we work with, too, making it easy to call upon and rely on.”

Efficiency is often a buzzword in local services. How can it be achieved? St Helens Youth Justice Service no longer has to wait for internal mechanisms to be run before upgrading ChildView or resolving any issues in the system. “Everything is much quicker now,” says Helen. “Any updates that we need are scheduled and done, there’s no hassle.

“Previously there was a lot of back and forth on available dates and when would be best to conduct the updates. Then there were times when our internal IT team were unsure of exactly what they needed to do. It’s now just much quicker.”

“It’s the same as the CACI helpdesk. I can grant them remote access to my desktop and they can fix issues instantly. There’s no more logging the issues with our internal IT department and hoping that someone can fix it quickly. It just gets done now.”

Finally, there’s the issue of cost benefit and cost efficiency. “The people operating above us, who sign off on expenditure such as this, can see the value in the service and are supportive of us using it, so there has been no issue on that front,” concludes Helen. “We have to justify the value, of course, but in terms of security, data access and space saved, it satisfies this. Our council understands the cost benefit of this and we’ve got support for it internally.”

For more information on how CACI’s fully managed hosting service supports youth justice services, please click here.