• June 2016
  • Vol. 17, No. 4

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White House Foster Care and Technology Hackathon

Last month, during National Foster Care Month, the White House, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and Think of Us hosted the first White House Foster Care and Technology Hackathon. On May 26 and 27, leaders in the fields of foster care and child welfare, nonprofit organizations, and foster care families and alumni joined in a conversation with leaders from the technology sector to explore ways in which technology could be used to improve the foster care system and the lives of the children, youth, and families the system touches. Child welfare, legal, and technology experts; practitioners; policymakers; and foster care alumni teamed to "hack" current challenges facing the child welfare field by thinking about innovative solutions in response to the following questions:

  • How might we prevent unplanned pregnancy among youth in foster care?
  • How might we prevent homelessness among youth who have aged out of care?
  • How might we create a legal framework for protecting the digital information of children and families in the child welfare system?
  • How might we make essential documents constantly available to youth in one touch?
  • How might we help pregnant and parenting mothers dealing with substance abuse?
  • How might we ensure that we have an ample supply of the most capable, empathetic, resilient families as part of the foster family pipeline?
  • How might we get more innovative technology into child welfare agencies?
  • How might we empower youth in foster care and alumni with decision-making abilities?

To learn more about the hackathon—including information about the teams that came together to hack each question, indepth information about each challenge being discussed, the potential impact of a technology solution for the challenges, and opportunities Think of Us and the teams explored as possible solutions—visit the Think of Us website at http://thinkof-us.org/white-house-hackathon/.

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