In 2015, KVC’s MyLink™ telehealth and distance learning program was expanded to include our subsidiaries in Kansas, Nebraska, Kentucky and West Virginia. Pilot testing of the new technology has been completed and when fully implemented, MyLink will use iPads to transform the healthcare and support for children in more than 1,000 foster families in these four states.
MyLink is a robust, HIPAA-compliant video conferencing program that provides children in foster care and others served by the child welfare system increased access to therapeutic and crisis intervention services, and also delivers state-required training to foster parents in the home. Children and families in Kentucky and West Virginia were the first to complete pilot testing of the new program, and both distance learning and therapeutic sessions using MyLink are now fully implemented. Kansas and Nebraska were the latest states included in the expansion, and a pilot group of foster families participated in continuing education sessions from the convenience of their homes using the new technology. They provided invaluable feedback on the experience in order to help KVC sort out any technical issues.
KVC staff nationwide are already finding unique ways to use MyLink to leverage better care for children in foster care. In West Virginia, staff in a court room used an iPad equipped with MyLink to connect with a student from their school so that the child could appear in court without having to be pulled out of school. Therapists also reported that MyLink provided an added opportunity to connect with kids in care and practice emotion regulation skills, check in and monitor prescribed medications and continue building daily rapport with children and families.
MyLink is made possible due to generous grants from donors including the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development agency, BlueCross BlueShield of Kansas Foundation, Sarli Family Foundation and the Courtney S. Turner Charitable Trust. Learn more about MyLink.
To KVC’s knowledge, this program represents one of the first telehealth projects designed for children in foster care or otherwise involved in the child welfare system. The iPads are a unique support and benefit to foster families licensed through KVC. Learn more about becoming a foster parent in Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska and West Virginia.