Making an impact in child welfare with Box

As National Foster Care month comes to a close, we're grateful to work with inspiring partners that are tirelessly advocating for foster children and youth. This includes organizations like CASA of San Mateo County, Angels Foster Family Network, and Think of Us.  Engaging with them through volunteerism, hackathon projects, fundraising campaigns and more, has taught us much about the challenges that foster kids face, and the ways Box is uniquely positioned to make a difference. 

The stats are sobering: 

  • Foster children are a #1 target for identity theft
  • Over 20,000 youth age out of the foster care system between the ages of 18 –21 annually in the US
  • Within four years of aging out, 50% have no earnings, and those who do make an average annual income of $7,500

While the stats are distressing, individual stories reflect incredible resilience and potential.  This year we added two amazing former foster youth to our Box.org Advisory Council who have shared their stories and perspective on ways to move forward and make improvements in the system. With their help, and the input of Box employees and Box customers with child welfare experience, we're exploring how the strengths of Box help address the challenges foster youth, families and agencies face. 

We recently had the opportunity to chat with the DC Office of the Attorney General (OAG) at our Cloud Content Summit. CIO, Chris Tonjes, shared how using Box improved OAG processes and expedited child support payments.  He also shared specific ways Box improves OAG's efficiency, security and ability to move cases forward more quickly.

The outcomes:

  • 45,000 children in DC now receive child support more quickly 
  • A child support case filing that used to take 4-8 weeks is now instant
  • Custodial and foster parents with kids in tow no longer have to wait in lines to file paper forms, they can apply online through any device (mobile, laptop, iPad)
  • Audits are easier with clear demonstration of content controls and security in place
  • Immense time savings for staff who no longer need to run physical documents from place to place for signature after court

Here's how the team achieved these outcomes:

  • Used Box's file request feature for applicants to submit forms and documents (no more paper processes!)
  • Implemented the Box integration with Salesforce so all of those submissions and documents are tied to a case 
  • Leveraged Box Skills to verify submitted documents match what was requested (whether it be a birth certificate, driver's license or other)
  • Enabled granular permissions on content to protect sensitive information from unauthorized access, providing greater security and peace of mind
  • Incorporated e-signature during both the application and court stages of the process

Chris shared that before Box and the subsequent system upgrades at OAG, paper documents were sometimes lost in the process, which would require parents to come back down to re-file a form. Now, with the Box Content Cloud there is no paper to lose.  And, when the process comes to the finish line, the final documents can securely and easily be shared with those who need them.  The OAG team now has comprehensive files with all documents related to a child support application or case securely stored on Box. 

If you're working in child welfare and are curious to learn more about how Box can power your work, please contact us. We'd love to connect with you!

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