(This pilot project for the city of Philadelphia has been approved by the Philadelphia Department of Human Services and the Child Welfare League of America)
Isn't it Shocking...
Many of the over 600,000 children in foster care in the U.S. face very grim odds:
- 40% of foster youth are moved 3 or more times, 11% are moved 5 times or more
- 40% to 50% will never complete high school
- only 6% of foster youth attend college
- 65% of foster youth end up homeless (27% of the homeless population spent time in foster care)
- Over 70% of all state penitentiary inmates have spent time in foster care
Here's the Scoop
Working in a system that's bursting at the seams, caregivers and other foster care stakeholders struggle to meet the needs of these children, and keeping up with the necessary paperwork is practically impossible. As children are moved from placement to placement, their records often become fragmented or are lost. Can you imagine life without your memory boxes, scrapbooks, awards, report cards and health information? Youth in foster care don't have any of this information.
Because they don't have adequate health and education records, they don't get proper medical care and face significant challenges to positive educational experiences. To make matters worse, they often age out of the foster care system feeling no sense of identity and having no foundation to build a future upon.
We are a team of parents from AboutOne.com, a cloud and mobile technology startup that helps people store, manage, and privately share memories and household records (health, education, possessions, career).
We are building a Communication Station to organize and manage the vitally important information needed by children in foster care. 80% of the development is already done because we are modifying the existing AboutOne consumer platform. With your contributions, we can make the necessary modifications so that the system will meet the needs of the children and caregivers in the foster care community.
This short video gives an overview of the existing AboutOne platform that we're building on to create the Communication Station for children in foster care and their caregivers. We need your help.
How the Communication Station Will Help
The Communication Station is the first application in the world to give children in foster care and their caregivers a private and secure place to quickly and easily manage and privately share the health and education records, memories, and other life documents these vulnerable children need to lead happy, healthy, and productive lives.
When these children age out of the foster care system at age 18, their Communication Stations will be turned over to them, ensuring that they will have lifetime access to the vital information they'll need to complete job or college applications and manage their health.
The Communication Station will also play an important part in developing the sense of identity and belonging that comes from having a permanent record of childhood memories and milestones and details about the important people in your life.
How You Can Help
This is a philanthropic project, but we can't do it on our own. We need your help.
You may think the only way you can help is to become a foster parent - something not everyone is equipped or able to do. However, there are different ways to become part of the solution. This is your opportunity to make a difference.
The Communication Station is based on our existing AboutOne consumer platform, so 80% of the work is already done. With your contributions, we can make the necessary modifications so that the system will meet the needs of the children and caregivers in the foster care community.
The Philadelphia Department of Human Services-approved project will launch in December 2012. Phase 1 will go live in June 2013 with 500 children in foster care in the Philadelphia area. The platform will then be released to agencies and other organizations across the U.S. who help children in need.
What You Get
We're offering some great Perks to friends in the Indiegogo community who support our campaign. From "Protect Your Nuts" t-shirts to our "Organization Station" bags, we've got you covered!
100% of the money we raise will go toward the development of feature enhancements to our existing platform that are necessary to support children in foster care. Your contribution will help us make this platform available to agencies and other organizations across the country that help children in need.
Thank You + Ways to Get Involved
We are grateful for any support you can offer. Giving at any level sends the message that you care about improving the lives of children in foster care.
Please help us spread our message online and offline to your friends and family. Indiegogo's helpful share tools make it easy to create a ripple effect with your gift.