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Tech & Tools

Mobile App Helps Agency Work With At-Risk Children

Many child-welfare agency caseworkers and social workers rely on incomplete printouts and quick scans of their office computer screens before leaving to investigate a complaint or make a regular home visit.

But an agency operating in New York City's Harlem neighborhood and in suburban counties of the city has equipped 55 of its visiting workers with global positioning system-enabled mobile phones running software that accurately records whom they visit, when, and for how long.

The agency is Cardinal McCloskey Services, which helps thousands of at-risk children and families as a provider to the state’s “Bridges to Health” initiative, which serves foster children with mental health issues, developmental disabilities, and medical conditions.

Using drop-down menus in the app, agency workers record notes during each visit. This data is automatically and wirelessly transmitted to a secure, cloud-based management program, which in turn populates an electronic service-summary form (required by the state). Freedom from having to complete the forms manually allows more client visits per day than were previously possible. In the agency's office, meanwhile, staffers access worker data or view their locations in real time.

The software has worked well and Cardinal McCloskey Services is planning to add more features—such as access to central files—for their professionals to use during these home visits.

The app is Xora GPS TimeTrack, which works on mobile phones and streamlines work processes, eliminates manual paperwork, and generates alerts and reports that let organizations more efficiently plan and make decisions.

For more information, visit www.xora.com.