RateMyFosterHome.Com

​What if state governments and child welfare agencies could improve foster home quality in real-time using data visualizations?

Photo of Marquis Cabrera
5 5

Written by

Founding Story: Share a story about a key experience or spark that helps the network understand why this project got started or a story about how you became inspired about the potential for this project to succeed.

My brother was in foster care; he had 7 foster home placements and aged out of foster care, for he had behavioral and communications. While personal, this did not spark my reason for creating RateMyFosterHome.Com. Per talking distinguished child welfare leaders, like UMD Dean Rick Barth, I learned: In order to improve foster home quality, we must understand what's happening in foster homes, but there is no mechanism to do such. This is why I was inspired to create RateMyFosterHome.

Which categories describe you? (the answer will not be public)

  • Black or African American (for example: African American, Jamaican, Haitian, Nigerian, Ethiopian, Somalian)
  • Hispanic, Latinx, or Spanish origin (for example: Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuba, Salvadoran, Dominican, Colombian)

If you chose to self-identify your race, ethnicity, or origin, please share here: (the answer will not be public)

N/A

Website

http://www.ratemyfosterhome.com

Location: Where is your organization headquartered? [State]

  • Massachusetts

Location: Where is your organization headquartered? [City]

Boston

Location: Where is your project primarily creating impact? [State]

  • Massachusetts

Location: Where is your project primarily creating impact? [City]

Although we're in Boston, child welfare providers in Nebraska plan to pilot our new deployed version. RateMyFosterHome.Com will be deployed in locations, where monthly foster homes visits occur and where they have offices for child protective service units for foster families. In addition, in locales where states have CPS for foster families.

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

The average number of foster home placements for foster kids is 3 homes, which is higher in some locations. For example, at least 38% of foster youth in California experience 5 or more placements. A large body of evidence links multiple placements with behavioral and mental health problems, educational difficulties, and juvenile delinquency. Children who had two or more moves during their first year of care were more likely to age out of care.

RateMyFosterHome.Com is a hybrid (web SaaS and mobile) app that enables Social workers, or family resource workers, to better manage caseloads by diagnosing (communications, behavioral, and resource) problems that foster families have in real-time using the Net Promoter System (NPS) System.  This monthly assessment and litmus test is conducted during the foster care monthly visits to gage foster home quality, effectively insomuch that they are able provide beneficial interventions are continuously made to improve foster home quality.  As a result, they will decrease multiple foster home placements and disruptions and increase child welfare system stakeholder loyalty by creating a beneficiary-centric experience. 

Is your model focused on any of the following traditionally underserved communities?

  • Communities of color
  • Low-income communities
  • Other

Does your model work within any of the following sectors?

  • Child and Family Services
  • Other

If you chose "other," please share the sector you work within here:

We are working in the behavioral tech market.

Year Founded

2015

Project Stage

  • Start-Up (a pilot that has just started operating)

Example: Walk the network through a specific example of what happens when a person or group engages with your solution.

During a monthly foster family visit, a social worker brings the tool / mobile device with the RateMyFosterHome front facing survey app with them to their foster family home. While talking independently with the foster youth, the foster parent uses the social workers mobile device (phone or tablet) to rates the home; then the foster youth, who is over 10 years-old, rates their foster home while their social worker is talking with their parents. Upon leaving the thome, the social worker rates their experience. Our system captures that mobile moment (data) and visualizes the data on the backend, which the social work logs into. If the home requires an intervention, the social worker can recommend interventions based on feedback.

Impact: What was the impact of your work last year? Please also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

Here is the goals of RateMyFosterHome.Com:
- Decrease the average number of placements in each state and nationally by diagnosing behavioral, communications, and resource problems; then provide ongoing real-time interventions.
- Improve foster home quality by quantifying the experience and responding to the varying deltas.
- Increase child welfare system stakeholder loyalty among foster kids, foster parents, and social workers insomuch that foster kids believe the system can provide appropriate resources, foster parents believe the child welfare system is resourceful, and social workers are more effective.
- And, ultimately, reduce the 23,000 kids who age out foster care and decrease the 104,000 kids awaiting adoption annually.

Organization Type

  • hybrid

Annual Budget

  • $10k - $50k

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is your solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

Although we’re designing for foster kids, foster parents, and social workers, we plan to sell to government contracted child welfare service providers with performance-based (or risk-based) contracts, government child welfare departments, and child welfare behavioral health agencies. Our early adopter(s) is: 1a. State government child welfare technology systems, and 1b. For-profit government contracted service providers with risk-based.

Unique Value Proposition: How else is this problem being addressed? Are there other organizations working in the same field, and how does your project differ from these other approaches?

Most technology child welfare companies are State Automated Child Welfare Information System (SACWIS) focused. For example, Social Solutions and Case Commons. RateMyFosterHome.Com is not a SACWIS system, but rather a tool for social worker supervisors and social workers to use when trying to figure out the best intervention to improve foster home quality. However, we do have organizations working in child welfare mobile tech: Kid Insights and Case Advice. Currently, they are are not using NPS. Our competitive advantage is our org. is led by a successful foster youth.

Reflect on the Field and its Future: Stepping outside of your project, what do you see as the most important or promising shifts that can advance children’s wellbeing?

Ultimately though, - in the future - we plan to use this data in multiple ways: to identify which foster homes consistently struggle, identify the common problems foster families face to provide better front-end training, understand on a binary scale (0-1) whether interventions were effective, figure out common social worker problems insomuch that targeted supervisory trainings are provided, make the system leaders aware of abusive foster foster parents far in advance, and, ultimately, measure deltas in foster home quality to improve child welfare well-being.

Source: How did you hear about the Children’s Wellbeing Challenge? (the answer will not be public)

  • Word of mouth

Referral: If you discovered the Challenge thanks to an organization or person other than Ashoka, who was it? (the answer will not be public)

Becca AbuRakia-Einhorn

5 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Leanne McEvoy
Team

I really like the concept....but having worked with many youth in foster care and their foster families....I'm concerned about the issue of confidentiality.  Good luck!

Photo of Brittany Lothe
Team

Great point Leanne McEvoy   

Marquis Cabrera - if your app is HIPAA compliant consider including this as you refine your submission. 

View all comments