Hope Family Services of Colorado
Hope Family Services Uses Donated IT to Find Homes for Foster Children
More than 463,000 children live in foster care nationally. These children can no longer live at home due to neglect or physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, or because they are otherwise beyond the control of their parents. Hope Family Services in Colorado finds potential family foster homes and certifies them to be a viable and safe home. It then matches these homes to the right foster children.
Hope Family Services utilizes Microsoft technology throughout the entire foster-home-certification process. The organization receives referrals for foster children from all over Colorado. It relies on email via Microsoft Outlook to receive application forms and questionnaires and to schedule appointments. HFS created a form in Microsoft Word which is used to communicate information from the foster child's social worker to the foster family. Finding the perfect match of foster home to foster child is a priority for the organization, and it relies on Microsoft Access to track each foster child's progress. It also uses this database to store the child's medical history, which is shared with the social worker.
Employing Microsoft Internet Explorer, Hope Family Services is also able to conduct research to better serve foster children. By studying illnesses that foster children are diagnosed with, they can receive more informed treatment in the home. HFS also keeps its policy manuals up-to-date by researching rule and regulation changes on a regular basis.
Within the organization, Microsoft Excel is used to record finances, maintain an annual record for audits, track the costs of fostering programs, and analyze financial and population statistics to report to the state. By using Microsoft's networking program, HFS is able to share documents between different computers that operate throughout the agency. This allow HFS staff to always have the most current and consistent information.