As this pandemic has shown, again and again, it’s our most vulnerable populations that have been impacted the most. So when COVID-19 hit British Columbia and the province went into lockdown, some social welfare agencies worried about how it would affect their ability to get supports to those in need.
Luckily, the Secwépemc Child and Family Services Agency (SCFSA) didn’t quite have the same level of concern as some.
Based in Kamloops, B.C., the SCFSA provides a range of child protection services on behalf of the seven bands in the Secwépemc First Nation. Its mission is to protect the rights of Aboriginal children, ensure their safety, and maintain their connection to family, culture, and community.
Part of that mission involves delivering payments to clients, which would be difficult — and unsafe — if those clients had to visit the SCFSA office. As health officials have implored us, we need to stay home and keep two metres apart.
However, the SCFSA has been a Telpay customer since 2014, meaning it can easily get payments to clients quickly without having to do so in person.
“We have so many small payments to clients,” says Cindy Carusi, the SCFSA’s finance administrator. “Without Telpay there would be a large increase in mailed letters and clients coming to the office to pick up cheques.”
Instead, Cindy just needs those clients’ bank information, and soon they have the money they need.
As with any technology, though, this isn’t to say Cindy and her team haven’t experienced the odd challenge with transitioning to Telpay. But, she says, the Telpay team has been “amazing” with helping the SCFSA learn the system.
Other pluses, she adds, are that Telpay easily integrates with their accounting software, Adagio, and that Telpay doesn’t require in-person payment approvals, which is also ideal during the pandemic.
“We have one board member and one manager approve each payment, and even though they are working in outlying communities, travelling, and in meetings off site, the approvals can be sent by telephone or computer by simply clicking on ‘approve’ in their email,” says Cindy.
Bottom line: Telpay has helped make Cindy’s life and, more importantly, her clients’ lives a lot less stressful.
“It’s given me peace of mind during the pandemic knowing that families and children in need can be assisted with just a few clicks.”