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KVC Nebraska Will Use iPads to Support 500 Youth in Foster Care

KVC Nebraska MyLink™ telehealth

Telehealth project is the only one of its kind aimed at children in foster care

KVC Nebraska will roll out its MyLink™ telehealth and distance learning program to 500 children and adolescents in 300 foster families. This is thanks to a new grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service Distance Learning and Telemedicine program. KVC’s MyLink program is a robust, HIPAA-compliant video conferencing program. It uses iPads to give children in foster care increased access to crisis intervention services. The program also delivers state-required training to foster parents in the home. Increased access to services is especially important in the rural areas of Nebraska where KVC works.

KVC MyLink is the only project of its kind in the child welfare sector. The program equips children in foster care with iPads so they can directly link to behavioral healthcare services. Services such as therapy and ongoing education now accessable via video. The Nebraska expansion to 300 foster homes, coupled with a similar grant to connect 550 KVC foster families in Kansas, builds upon last year’s program launch to 160 KVC foster families in West Virginia and Kentucky. When fully implemented, KVC MyLink will provide iPads to more than 1,000 foster families in four states.  The MyLink™ telehealth program will benefit thousands of children in state custody. These are children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect or other family challenges.

KVC Nebraska is a private, not-for-profit child welfare and behavioral healthcare organization. It is the largest child placing (or foster family recruiting) agency in the state. It’s a subsidiary of KVC Health Systems, which provides foster care, adoption, in-home family therapy, substance abuse treatment and children’s psychiatric hospitals across the U.S. This program will enhance the services provided to children and families by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

“DHHS appreciates and congratulates KVC for their hard work on securing this very important funding that will give foster care parents one more valuable tool to support the children they care for,” said Tony Green, acting director of Children and Family Services. “The MyLink program will ultimately allow children in foster care to have an immediate connection to the resources they need, when they need them.”

The new USDA RUS DLT grant for $181,500 will be combined with $59,703 in matching funds for a total Nebraska expansion of $241,203. The program will give 500 children in foster care increased access to crisis intervention and prevention services. It will also give 300 foster families across the state’s 93 counties increased access to distance learning.

“By improving access to services, KVC MyLink will benefit hundreds of Nebraska children and families,” said Jodie Austin, President of KVC Nebraska. “Each child in foster care will have a direct, immediate link to his or her highly-trained, caring KVC Specialist. Plus it will provide foster parents with the latest training on positive parenting techniques. We are proud of this innovative approach to foster care. We see this partnership with the USDA as an important part of raising the bar in child welfare.”

Media Contact:
For questions, contact Jodie Austin at (402) 498-4700 or jaaustin@kvc.org.

About KVC Nebraska
KVC Nebraska is a nonprofit child welfare and behavioral healthcare organization that provides foster care and intensive in-home services. As the largest child placing agency in the state, KVC recruits, trains, licenses and supports foster families, caring for nearly 1,500 children and adolescents each year. KVC staff provide ongoing support to families including 24/7 crisis support, continuing education programs, mentoring coordination, community support groups, and educational programs and publications. KVC Nebraska is accredited by The Joint Commission. The organization is a subsidiary of KVC Health Systems which touches the lives of over 50,000 children and families each year. Learn more at http://nebraska.kvc.org.

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