Community resources are vital to meeting the immediate needs (e.g. clothing, emergency shelter), long-term needs (e.g. transportation, housing), and systemic needs (e.g. mental health + healing from trauma) of foster youth and others impacted by child welfare. Traditional case management is overburdened, unable to solve a multitude of social problems it was not designed to address. It is also expensive, hampered by bureaucracy, and enforces inequitable distribution of power and resources.
Think of Us is testing Virtual Support Services (VSS), a digital wraparound model that gives young people and families direct access to resources, creating a clearer pathway to support for those who need it. Building on our successful COVID-19 Command Center, VSS allows users to search and apply for resources according to their priorities, urgency and preferences with the support of a team of locally based community responders.
We built our Digital Collaborative to parallel VSS, making existing successful virtual solutions available in child welfare. Think of Us partners with tech companies to design, test and deliver services directly to state foster care programs and solve systemic breakdowns: redistributing overstocked medication (Sirum), building access to credit (Community Financial Resources), distributing food stamps (mRelief), career support (Career Village), support for first generation college students (Beyond12), mental health support groups (Pace) and more.