Peter Drucker, the legendary management guru, once said, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure”. Nowhere has that axiom been more obvious than in the context of global child welfare. While experts around the world have tried to quantify the numbers of children at risk, even the most experienced estimates do not reflect the real numbers. While many people work to find families for these countless children, many children already have parents or extended family members who love them. Bureaucratic confusion or a lack of resources, however, prevents child-centered permanency planning.
While many people have tried to approach the problem of children living in institutional settings, few have looked at the underlying reason children languish without parents. At the outset of our partnership with Tyler Technologies, we recognized a relatively simple issue. For most countries confronting this problem, the lack of technology to organize information has been a major stumbling block to family preservation or reunification, as well as impeding child-focused permanency planning. With Children First, developed on a pro bono basis by Tyler’s world class case management experts, countries with little or no child welfare infrastructure have already begun to analyze and assess their child welfare populations, reunifying children with their families or identifying other community-based resources.
The Children First software program is a remarkable development. The pilot took place in two countries: Guatemala and Honduras. Our technology partner, Tyler Technologies, designed and built a prototype mobile software tool and our two partner countries deployed the system during the first quarter of 2016, involving hundreds of children.
Permanency Planning module allows countries to identify and manage a plan to actively achieve the best family-based outcome for the registered children, such as reunification with the family, domestic adoption, and international adoption.
Placement module will enable participating countries to connect a child that needs a home with a "forever family," accelerating the placement of these children into loving families, minimizing the cost, and damaging effects of being outside parental care day after day.
Administration module enables countries to configure the application to their specific needs and control users access.