Technology to Close Distance Between Therapists and Children in Foster Care
KVC’s MyLink™ program was recently highlighted by reporter Laura Bauer in The Kansas City Star. This innovative video conferencing program is transforming the way that KVC supports thousands of children in foster care in four states. The technology gives children direct access to therapeutic and crisis intervention services, and delivers state-required training to foster parents in the home.
Many foster families who live in rural areas have a long commute to the nearest counselor and lack immediate access to a therapist when they need help. Thanks to a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Distance Learning and Telemedicine program, KVC is providing iPads for foster families equipped with a video conferencing system called MyLink™. The MyLink program is a private chat room that allows children in foster care and foster parents to talk with a therapist via video conferencing.
Last year, KVC launched the MyLink program in West Virginia and Kentucky, and in 2015, the USDA approved two more grants to expand MyLink to Kansas and Nebraska.
Debra Wells, a licensed counselor and social worker for KVC West Virginia, has seen a lot of success with the iPads. Kids feel more comfortable talking in a quiet place at home rather than traveling to an appointment in an office.
In addition to having direct access to a therapist, MyLink can help introduce children to potential foster families. One day, the tablets might also be used to connect siblings living in different foster homes.
Click here to read the entire article from Laura Bauer in The Kansas City Star.