About a year ago, I developed a system around FrontlineSMS called FamilyFIRST. FamilyFIRST was developed to allow domestic violence agencies to provide better services to victims by allowing them to report incidents silently via a simple SMS message. It also allowed victims in crisis to immediately summon the police or make contact with a crisis intervention worker without the need to actually make a phone call.
Since the implementation of the system, I've gotten a lot of interest from people wanting to implement a similar system in their community but the agency I developed the software for has, thus far, refused to cooperate with other agencies in sharing code or even giving any details of the system besides what's published in my brief whitepaper posted here in the "Case Studies" section of the site. So, I've decided to address that problem.
Currently, I'm redeveloping the entire system from scratch along with some enhancements that aren't part of the original system and plan to do a general public release on 1, October. The software will be completely open source, not rely on any third party frameworks, and should work with almost any version of FrontlineSMS.
Features the initial release will have include:
- The ability to log domestic violence incidents entirely through SMS
- The ability to attach photos, audio, and video clips to a report for evidence
- Instant and secure communication with a crisis intervention worker through SMS with log
- The ability to summon the police silently using an SMS message
- Automated information delivery for quick retrevial of important information like crisis line numbers, etc
I'm working very hard to make this as broad base of a system as I can and I'm confident that it will be usable by most agencies right out of the box. Of course, since I don't work for a domestic violence agency, there's a lot I can't anticipate and, thus, will rely on the real-world community of crisis workers to provide input on how to make the system better. This will indeed be a true community effort.
I'll be doing another update as I have more news to share but that's it for now. If you know of any features your agency would like to see in the software, feel free to email me at papillion [at] gmail [dot] com and share them. I'll be implementing new features until 20 September afterwhich I will freeze all new code additions as I prepare for the release.
Thanks for all the support and interest in this software. FrontlineSMS is an incredible system and I'm very glad to be a small, small, part of such a vibrant community.