Parenting foster children

Organization Information:

Organization Name:
Hope Family Services, Inc
City & State:
Organization Website:
Organization's Mission Statement

To preserve the family unit whenever possible and appropriate through all available agencies, community, and Christian resources.

Submission Information

Impact Essay

Hope Family Services, Inc is a 501©3 corporation that recruits and certifies family foster homes for children who cannot live at home due to neglect, abuse, or children who are beyond the control of their parents. This process is partially conducted by e-mailing application forms, questionnaires and scheduling appointments. Hope Family Services receives referrals for foster children from different counties throughout the state of Colorado. Microsoft technology is used throughout this process through the use of Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Word. Through these technologies, email is sent and received regarding the nature and needs of each perspective foster child. A referral form created in Microsoft Word and used to gather valuable information about each child is emailed to the child's social worker who completes the form. The form is then e-mailed to a prospective foster family. Questions and concerns regarding the prospective foster child from Hope Family Services and the prospective foster family are e-mailed back to the social worker. The social worker's response to the questions are e-mailed back to Hope Family Services and the prospective foster parent. This process continues until a match is made for the foster child to enter a good foster home. Because e-mail is used throughout this process, the e-mails create documentation of the process, all of which is kept in the foster child's file. Hope Family Services is almost entirely paperless. For example, an electronic file record is maintained for each foster child and foster family. Hope Family Services tracks each child’s file through Microsoft Access. Microsoft Access is used to track each foster child’s progress and maintain required annual and semi-annual requirements such as physical examinations and dental visits. Each child has a document created in Microsoft Word recording the child’s medical history. This document is then e-mailed to the social worker quarterly. Hope Family Services uses Microsoft’s Internet Explorer to conduct research to better service the foster children. For example, one foster child was diagnosed with the Fifth Disease. Information concerning this disease was found on the internet. Another foster child was diagnosed with diverticulitis. There are several web sites which the foster parents have used to fulfill their training obligations. The state department has a web site. This is accessed often to learn about new activities and rule and regulation changes for updating Hope Family Services’ policy manuals. Hope Family Services maintains a web site, The web site contains information about Hope Family Services and several other topics such as fostering children, information regarding different behaviors a foster parent might encounter such as gangs or bipolar disorder. Informal training credit can be earned when a person answers a series of questions after reading the information. The answers are e-mailed to Hope Family Services and returned to the individual with the correct answers to the questions. Because any person in the world can view the web site, it also provides an educational opportunity for any individual anywhere in the world to respond. Hope Family Services responds to reasonable e-mails from people who return a response. Responses have come from a variety of individuals including social workers, probation officers, teachers, law enforcement, students, foster parents, parents, etc. There have been a few times when a student writing a report for school requested information directly from Hope Family Services. The site is also used to show some art work of the foster children. There are no criteria for the artwork other than it has to be created by the artist, so any artwork submitted to Hope Family Services can be presented on the web site. The idea is to inspire foster children to express themselves and show it off to the world. People viewing the web site may also submit comments and questions. A few people have requested information about fostering children and been successfully certified as foster parents. Hope Family Services uses Microsoft Excel to produce spreadsheets for tracking and statistical purposes. Through the use of this program, Hope Family Services records finances, maintains an annual record of those finances for auditing purposes, track the costs of fostering programs, and obtains financial and population statistics to report to the state. Hope Family Services uses Microsoft’s networking program to share documents between the different computers which operate throughout the agency. This allows current and consistent information to all personnel at all times. Hope Family Services used Microsoft Word to create this narrative so that words were spelled correctly, grammar and punctuation were correct, and maybe to optimize its mission delivery through this submission.

Submission Category
Optimize Mission Delivery
Project Image