AUSTIN (Nexstar) — A nonprofit in Austin just launched a new app that sets out to improve the high turnover rates among foster parents and caseworkers across the state.
As we’ve previously reported, there are a lot of problems within the foster care system here in Texas, that puts a lot of stress on everyone involved.
Destiny Bowers and her family took in a foster baby a little over a year ago. Keeping up with all the paperwork hasn’t been easy.
“That was daunting, and it was confusing, and they’d come back to you saying, ‘Oh, you need to add this,'” Bowers said.
Now, she and her family are a few of the first to try the “Fostershare” app.
“We normally have to be a lot more thorough with the paperwork,” Bowers said. “But now, this app is way quicker. It takes 30 seconds to a minute to finish every day.”
Miracle Foundation — a Central Texas nonprofit that helps kids who really need it — said it worked on creating this app after they found out 60% of foster parents back out of their obligations within the first year. According to the foundation, 90% of agencies also have trouble keeping caseworkers.
“We did this in order to reduce the impact on the children because they bounce around from family to family to family, and we want to stabilize that,” Leslie Beasley, the CEO of Miracle Foundation said.
The required paperwork, including daily logging and shared calendars, are all in one place on this app —making coordinating more of a streamlined process. It can be accessed on your phone or computer.
“One of the things that this app does is it has red flag technology that escalates important information to the caseworker,” Beasley said.
Miracle Foundation says it did a 3-month beta test at some of the top agencies across Texas, showing the app improves the process for families and caseworkers
“It just helps you be more organized,” Bowers said.
There are already more than 1,000 people using this app, Miracle Foundation said.
The nonprofit is estimating over 100 agencies and about 3,500 families will be using the app within the next year.