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David Marchak

Family Status Codes

One of the features which was added in version 3.00 of Paritek was the concept of "family status". Like most new features, this one takes some planning to become an effective part of your data management routine. (What do you mean you didn't know you have a data management routine?)

Planning Your Codes
We all know that there is a wide range of commitment from the people in your parish. There are those people who serve on several committees and attend every event. At the other end of the spectrum are the people you see once and never hear from again. Okay, there are also people who never register, but you cannot add their names to the database. When you add a family, the family status code will be used to help you (and those who come after you) identify which people are which. These status codes are similar to (but not to be confused with) marital status codes as they may change over time for a specific family.

These are some examples of codes that you may want to define:

Status Print What it Means Assign to these Families
Active Always These are the people who are registered, contribute, and should appear on all parish and phone lists. Families who fill out a registration card or request a box of envelopes. These are your core group of families.
Inactive Usually These families may get receipts, but do not need to be contacted for volunteer efforts or visited. They should still appear on parish lists. Local families that make a donation by cheque (and that's all the information you have), families whose mail has been returned or businesses that contribute money.
Visitor Maybe These families will get receipts for their contributions, but do not need to be contacted or put on parish lists (reducing the clutter). I really just want to say "visitors", but then that doesn't really explain what visitors are. Still, I think you get the idea.
Moved Rarely These families are one step away from being deleted from the program. How long before they are actually deleted is up to you. People who actually tell you that they are moving out of the parish, but still have donations on file or will not be deleted at this time.
Deceased No The only member of this household has died, but still has donations on file. Obviously, you do not want them to appear on any parish lists. Remember that if only one member of the family dies, you can set their status to "Never Print".
Do Not Print Never For some reason, this name needs to be in the parish database, but it must not appear on any printed reports. Perhaps a spouse in an abusive relationship does not want to be contacted or this family has moved, but the information is being kept for historical purposes.

Ultimately, you will have to decide which codes you want to use for your unique situation. The important thing to remember is that you only get one family status code per family. If you feel this isn't enough, you may want to try using the category codes instead (which are unlimited per family and/or individual).

Because one of these codes is likely to be used every time you register a new family, you have the option to have Paritek fill it in for you each time you add a new family. Go to Edit > System Setup > System Defaults, click on the Page 2 tab and enter this code in the Default Status field. Then this code will magically appear just like the city and province (assuming there is a value in those default fields).

Changing the Names on Reports
Once you have different family status codes recorded for different families, you can use this to change which names appear on reports or labels. Check Edit > System Setup > Family Status Codes to see which codes will be printed and which will be left out. You can then change the Print status according to your needs at the time.

For example, if you wanted to print all those families that had moved from the parish, you could set the "Moved" status code to print and the "Active" status code to not print. It does not matter which report you print at this point, only those people with the codes you requested to be printed will appear. This includes family information reports, custom reports, letters, and labels.

As with all rules, there are exceptions:
Anyone that has contributed will appear on contribution reports (including income tax receipts), regardless of how these codes are set.
Any family without a family status code will be printed on all reports, regardless of which codes you tell the program to print. Be careful that the list of people to be deleted does not include people who have a blank code.
There is an option in the System Defaults which allows you to Print all families, regardless of their "status" setting. If this option is checked, the program will ignore any of your family status code settings.

Because these codes allow you to tell the program which families to print and which to hide, you do not need to delete families immediately when they move or you lose contact. For example, if a letter was mailed to a specific family and was returned by the post office, you could change their status to "moved". This way, should the family suddenly reappear (yes, sometimes mail is returned for no real reason), you do not need to re-enter all their information (assuming you could find it all).

This would mean that several families would be in your data files, even though they are no longer parishioners. However, since they never appear on any reports and are not counted in the number of "printable status" families (Utilities > Paritek File Status), this may not be a problem. Of course, if you prefer a database with no superfluous information, you can still delete the appropriate families.

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Content copyright 2001-2009 David Marchak
This page last updated June 15, 2009