A skilled volunteer delivered a client tracking software solution selection and data migration project to help Foster Village Charlotte. As a result they anticipate saving staff over 520 hours annually, allowing them to focus on foster family success.
Foster Village Charlotte provides advocacy and support to families fostering children through several programs, including providing welcome packs, one-on-one support and being a resource hub. They create connections with dignity for children and families experiencing foster care by meeting urgent needs, providing educational and emotional support, and advocating as a collective community voice for children.
Foster Village Charlotte (FVC) was tracking, reporting and managing caregiver data manually when they reached out to Apparo for help with identifying a software solution to streamline their processes. Volunteer, Derik Timmerman from Sparrow Nonprofit Solutions, came together with Apparo to identify a solution to meet FVC needs and assisted with migrating data into the new system. The new system will streamline caregiver tracking leading to an anticipated savings of 520 hours staff annually, a value of almost $15,000 in staff time saved. Staff will have more time to build deeper connection with families, develop resources and research ways they can continue to support foster families. They will also have more time to develop relationships with current and potential donors and raise awareness about their mission and foster care in our community, potentially increasing revenue.
Staff time saved combined with having caregiver and foster family information readily available, will allow FVC to work directly with each family to ensure they are receiving the support they need. FVC has a goal to increase the number of caregivers engaging in a program after receiving the welcome packet from 25% to 40%. Because staff will have easy access to caregiver information, they will be able to be more responsive to the caregiver needs and recommend the programs beyond the welcome packet that can best support the caregiver and the foster family in that moment. FVC Co-Founder/Director of Programs & Development, Becky Santoro, shared, “Having this information readily available will help us to respond to the twists and turns of the foster care system and will allow staff to better identify and meet the needs of each caregiver and foster family. We will see our mission even more deeply fulfilled because we will have a more holistic picture of a foster parent.” The system will also allow FVC to have better data to make programming decisions. Santoro shared, “Having the system in place will allow us to understand the benefits and impacts of our programming and identify trends so we can make high quality, strategic decisions. ”
Santoro commented, “This project was like a breath of fresh air and has been so impactful for our organization. In our world of crisis center work where we are often putting out fires and dealing with high priority needs, it was so helpful to have these project partners come along side us to help us be strategic in finding the right solution.”
Traci Prillaman, FVC Co-Founder/Director of Operations, shared her thoughts on the project, “Having an expert come in to do the leg work and help us find the right solution for our organization was extremely beneficial.” Adding, “Derik brought an out of the box solution to our need for a client focused tracking system. His extensive knowledge of the product allowed us to move forward quickly and have the advantages of real time usage and integration.”
Project Volunteer, Derik Timmerman, contributed 45 hours to this work and along with Apparo delivered a project worth almost $11,000. Derik shared a little about his experience, “It is really special to deepen relationships with Apparo and get to know Foster Village Charlotte. I had fun and we really crushed it. I really feel strongly about the work Apparo is doing and my work on this project is more than a transaction for me, this is an emotional journey.”