Hi, I’m Ruby, the CEO of Social Services Technology Innovations Today I’m going to tell you about Open Door- our software as a service product that will disrupt the foster care system and help the millions of children that are in protective custody in our country
As a survivor of the foster care system and a child welfare social worker that has handled over 6,000 cases in the past 20 years, I know that the current placement process is ineffective, slow and leads to unsuccessful placements. A typical placement happens like this: I respond to an emergency crisis at the home of a parent and remove the child This usually this happens in the middle of the night, when access to resources are limited I bring the child to my office to research placement availabilities in an outdated excel spreadsheets of home listings that I created or I send a placement request to a clerk that, during office hours, searches the state database of homes that is 6-12 months out of date I have to call or fax each home individually to check availability As you can imagine, this process can take days and the results are unsatisfactory Due to the current placement process, it is common that: Children are placed 20-50 miles from their original home, which means they need to change schools mid-term Children are placed too far from their family to be conducive to regular visits Children are placed outside of their culture and language And it is usually not possible to find a placement that will accommodate siblings or the child’s special needs.
The consequences that follow make a foster child’s current crisis situation lead to long-term effects: With the child’s interrupted coursework the child is more likely to fail, be years behind, and lack education to be successful The dramatic changes in family life leads to acting out, running away, and eventually even drugs, prostitution, juvenile hall, or probation Not only are the children paying for the problems in the placement system, but we all pay… Billions of taxpayer dollars are wasted on a child welfare system that is inefficient and ineffective and results in billions of dollars in expenses from resulting welfare programs In addition, Foster homes don’t know how to improve their services because there is no accurate data in the foster care system- for example, the state of California doesn’t even know how many licensed foster homes there are in the state! This is a broken system and we’re going to fix it!
The solution is OPEN DOOR (show phone) an application used on mobile phones by social workers and foster homes to quickly place children in crisis to foster homes that fit each child’s needs and that is geographically closer to each child’s original home. Once a social worker has a child in crisis in custody, the social worker can enter the zipcode and the special needs of the child and immediately the application searches its real-time database of foster homes to find the most accurate and geographically close placement within seconds!
This application reduces costs for the social workers and the Department of Child and Family Services, while increasing the effectiveness of foster homes and the success of the foster care system.
The foster care market is huge. Conservatively, there are over 6,000 homes just in LA county. Since this same placement issue exists throughout the whole country, the entire potential market are the over 1.5 million foster homes in the US. Not only will Open Door be attractive to foster homes looking for a better way to market to social workers, the federal government spends over 30 billion dollars on a broken foster care system each year, and is currently looking for a solution to the growing problems- opening up the potential for Open Door to obtain government contracts in each state. Additionally, the open door technology is desperately needed in several other social service segments, such as domestic violence shelters, homeless shelters, and mental health service providers.
As a benefit corporation with the mission to fix the child welfare system, we project that not only can we reach profitability in year 2 and become a multi-million dollar company, but we can also help improve the lives of millions of children and give hope to individuals in crisis while bringing our social services system into the 21 st century.
Our dream team consists of a diversity of experience in foster care, social work, technology, education, and government contracts. We have the connections, expertise and passion to make this company a success. So far, we have bootstrapped the company and reached the following milestones: An application MVP developed and with homes and social workers just waiting and ready for beta testing Legally structured as a benefit corporation Initial conversations with large foster family agencies that represent over 300 homes each
We are raising 300k to fund our beta, business and technology development and marketing strategy With this funding we are confident that we can prove our concept in LA county and scale to the entire state of California by year 2. Then we will obtain state government contracts to scale nationally.
Help us disrupt the foster care system and ensure Safe, accurate and fast placement in crisis: with Open Door- The 1 st placement is the right placement … every time Help the millions of children in foster care have hope for a brighter future Thank you
Open Door™ - Foster Care Placement Application for children in crisis
• Ruby Guillen, CEO• Joseph Powers, CAO• Lee Salazar, CFO• Ray Manning, CTO