The Nerdery - Overnight Website Challenge

Kansas City 2014, April 12-13

KVC Health Systems

Paired with 418

KVC Health Systems, headquartered in the greater Kansas City area, is a private, nonprofit 501(c)3 child welfare and behavioral healthcare organization. As one of the lead agency contractors for the state of Kansas, KVC cares for more than 50% of all children in the state child welfare system. For children who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect or other challenging circumstances, we provide a diverse continuum of services including foster care, adoption, in-home family therapy and children's psychiatric hospitals. We believe that "children grow best in families," so we work hard to support children whether in their birth family, through a temporary foster family, or with their new forever family through adoption.



In its 44-year history, KVC has grown from a single Kansas home for at-risk boys to a national organization serving tens of thousands of children in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Kentucky, West Virginia and Washington, D.C. As a result of KVC’s successful model which uses evidence-based practices to achieve strong outcomes, the Annie E. Casey Foundation has identified KVC as a one of only four national best-practice organizations in child welfare. The organization has been accredited by The Joint Commission since 1991.



KVC has some wonderful community partners and supporters who help champion the work we do. KU Coach Bill Self serves on KVC's Board of Directors and is helping share the need for foster families through a TV ad he recorded with Kansas City Royals pitcher James Shields. Other supporters include Garmin, Tyson, the Ball Family (Hen House/Price Chopper), the Kelly Family Foundation (Silpada), the Dunn Family (JE Dunn Construction) and many others. These people and organizations know that we must rally around children and families in crisis, and provide the support they need to move forward into a happier, healthier future.

What new functionality we are looking for

In FY2013, KVC helped 305 children find a forever family through adoption. The needs for children to be adopted out of the U.S. foster care system and into a permanent, loving family are growing. Every year in the United States:

- 252,000 children enter foster care

- 102,000 children wait to be adopted



We need an adoption website that is video-intensive, social media-friendly, and technically savvy.



We envision a site that is similar in concept to Match.com. Adoptive families can create a profile and describe themselves. Then they can search profiles of children available for adoption. The children range in age from birth to 18, however the greatest needs are for teenagers, sibling groups and kids with special needs to be adopted. Families can star profiles of kids they are most interested in.



The child profiles are the heart of the website. We will have searchable biographical data (such as age, race, location, etc.) as well as personal bios about their likes, interests, wishes and dreams. Best of all, the site will support video interviews of the kids, so families can see/hear them and get a real feel for their personality. We are also looking for creative tie-ins to social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) to help transform the way we raise awareness about children waiting to be adopted in the U.S.



In addition to our own domain (adoption.kvc.org), we have reserved several broader domains because we have a national vision for increasing child adoptions!

- virtualadoptioncenter.org

- interactiveadoptioncenter.org

- adoptamericankids.org

- adoptfromfostercare.org



Note: We have a new KVC.org website that is launching in April 2014. That new site reflects our new branding and gives information about our foster care and other services. However we do not currently have the resources to update our ADOPTION website which is at http://adoption.kvc.org. This is where we list profiles of local children looking for their forever family. This is the site that we are applying to the Overnight Website Challenge to replace.

How the new functionality will help

Imagine turning 18 years old, and being turned loose in the world. You don't have a mom or a dad, or any real place to call home. This is what happens to a young person who "ages out of foster care" without ever finding their forever family.



By replacing the KVC adoption website (adoption.kvc.org), we will help connect children and teenagers with loving forever families. The new website will not only be a searchable database of child profiles, but will also move families further along in their own journey to help finalize more adoptions.



KVC's vision is to change the face of foster care in America. By that, we mean increasing the quality of foster care (training and supporting foster families to care for kids), and then decreasing the amount of time kids spend in foster care. We want them to achieve permanency faster, and this new website will help us find them families/homes.



Our current adoption not only looks outdated, but it lacks some of this higher end functionality. Here's just one example of how VIDEO of children seeking their forever families can be very powerful in reaching potential adoptive families: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2014/03/07/keonte-cook-adoption-story/6168221/

How our organization will use the technology

Who will use the technology

50 Messages from Supporters

2014-03-12 21:47:02 UTC
Anonymous

What if there is a child in Olathe who, due to distance alone, might never meet future foster parents in Hays, Kansas? Children need families. This website may allow children and foster families to get to know each other from further away, which would also make the transition better for all. Please support KVC!

2014-03-13 14:08:41 UTC
Jenny Kutz

This KVC adoption website would help get the word out about the hundreds of kids who are searching for their forever family, and help make those matches! Choosing this project would be a really great story both at the local level (Kansas City area) but also nationally because KVC works across the U.S. I recently looked in the yellow pages under "adoption," and found lots of ads for private adoption agencies that sometimes charge very high fees. KVC is different because it's helping to find a home for children who have experienced abuse or neglect and are now in foster care. There is no fee to adopt a child through KVC. There may be some incidental costs such as for travel related to the child's needs, but in general, the costs are very minimal. Also, in some cases, financial support from the state is available to families after the adoption is finalized. This is such an excellent organization doing important work - I hope that KVC is selected!

2014-03-13 15:20:18 UTC
Gabrielle Darrow

KVC raises the bar for child welfare services by utilizing a solid support system of remarkable staff, devoted foster parents and amazing community members who believe that you can make a difference in the life of a child. Please consider helping KVC make the world a brighter place for children who are in desperate need of forever families. We CAN change the face of adoption by utilizing the many facets of technology and, in turn, give hope to a child who longs for a home to call their own.

2014-03-13 15:22:21 UTC
Anonymous

Please help us prove that PEOPLE MATTER!!

2014-03-13 17:42:35 UTC
Debbie Dominick

Every child deserves a family! At KVC, we strive to make this possible for every child we serve, and are continuously looking for new ways to make this happen. A website that is more user friendly and using the latest technology may help us to make a permanent family a reality for more of our children without a home. Thank you for your consideration!

2014-03-13 17:46:12 UTC
Patty Bartlett

The people who work for KVC really care about the children they serve and have many a sleepless night worrying about how they can make life better for children in foster care. This web site would help them help others and give children a chance for a better life. KVC CARES!!!

2014-03-13 17:54:08 UTC
Danielle N.

I work directly with some of the KVC children awaiting adoption. Two of the children on my case load have been looking for a forever family since 2009. Having an interactive site might allow for a family to see how great these kids truly are, regardless of any challenges they bring with them. Being able to see their personalities, their hopes, their dreams, would bring the kids to life more than any bio we write ever could. It is easy to make a decision to just turn away when you see a picture and a paragraph, but when you hear the desire for a family in their voices and see it in their eyes, it is a lot harder to do nothing. Help us find forever homes for these wonderful kids!

2014-03-13 17:54:32 UTC
Anonymous

Help us help children and families. It makes the world a much beter place.

2014-03-13 17:58:12 UTC
Dena Gates

The children we work with want families to know who they are. These children are wonderful and talented and allowing families to start to get to know a child through technology can help us find a Forever Family for each child. A video of a child can be a great starting point in recruiting the right family. Our agency wants to use all the resources available for the children we work with. Please help us change the life of a child!

2014-03-13 18:09:27 UTC
Debra Baima

I would like to say that having an updated Website so people across the Nation and look for their forever child would be great. If I was a couple looking for a child I would look for an Agency that puts children and families first and will go the extra mile it takes to find the perfect child for their perfect family.

2014-03-13 18:12:44 UTC
Debra Baima

I would like to say that having an updated Website so people across the Nation can look for their forever child or children would be great. If I was a couple looking for a child or children I would look for an Agency that will do what it takes to help the adoptive family whether it is financial or with legal paperwork, so that the Red Tape doesn't prolong the outcome of an Adoption. At KVC we put children and families first and will go the extra mile it takes to find the perfect child or children for their perfect forever family.

2014-03-13 18:29:45 UTC
Anonymous

Updating the adoption website would be beneficial for the children we serve looking for a forever home and those families who are interested in providing that home. Having an interactive website that includes interviews with the child would be so much for appealing than the current website and would be a great resource to have. Please help us give this children a forever family.

2014-03-13 18:31:54 UTC
Nicole Hines

Helping children find forever families is a life changing experience! Having a website that is eye catching, user friendly and has the latest technology could be the bridge that children need to find their forever family! I can think of no better way to utilize a service for that very thing. People matter at KVC and our compassion for children to achieve permanency is what drives us through this mission. Please consider KVC for this challenge and help us make a difference in the life of a child and a family!

2014-03-13 19:02:47 UTC
Anonymous

When I talk to my friends about how many children are waiting to be adopted, they are so surprised! I think a website could really help us get the word out about these amazing children and teens waiting for a forever family. This would be an answer to many prayers!

2014-03-13 19:09:33 UTC
Anne-marie D.

A new website will make a world of difference in helping our children find their forever families! Please help us unite children and families as quickly as possible so they may have a childhood they deserve! KVC strives to achieve timely permanency for children and this will be a helpful tool to continue to do so! Thank you for considering KVC!

2014-03-13 19:20:23 UTC
Anonymous

Being an employee of KVC gives me the ability to know that there ARE people who work very hard for children and families of KANSAS! We do care about every family that we service in whatever capacity. Spread the word that there are many children on this website that wants, needs and DESERVE to have a forever family! Go ahead . . . start spreading the word!

2014-03-13 19:22:22 UTC
Emily Gairns

KVC is a wonderful organization that works tirelessly every day to help children find loving, permanent homes. A new website that would help even more children get placed with their forever families would be a huge asset to KVC. A new site could do so much more to share the story of these children and make information more accessible to prospective families. Please help KVC bring this dream to life!

2014-03-13 19:22:44 UTC
Anonymous

KVC does care about the children and their families. Good caring foster care is very important and KVC, does a good job providing quality services to both.

2014-03-13 19:26:58 UTC
Anonymous

All of our children at KVC have experienced hardships no child should ever have to experience. These kids need forever families who will love them and support them no matter what and provide them with what they need to grow. This website will help us find those forever families and a brighter future our children, something all children deserve.

2014-03-13 20:37:36 UTC
Kelly Beale

Across the country child welfare agencies post profiles of children waiting to be adopted. As a prospective adoptive parent with many ties to a community of adopters, I can tell you the sites with the most information about a child get the most response from potential parents. People interested in adoption need to know a little about the child and whether or not they might be the right fit for their family. They also need to get feedback from the agency quickly. An interactive website that involves videos and social media will allow more connections to be made!

2014-03-14 16:04:35 UTC
Shavonda Thrower

I would like to thank you for considering KVC for your Overnight Website Challenge Project. KVC is a non-profit organization who works diligently everyday to make a difference in the lives of the children and families in our community. We are committed to finding each child in our system the Forever Family that will provide them the love, compassion and guidance they need to grow into the leaders of our tomorrow.
We set our standards high so that we hire the best in the field to work with our families. We collaborate with schools, government agencies, other organizations and community members to meet the needs of our families. We know that it takes a village to raise a child. I am asking you to join this village and provide our families with your expertise. Your technical knowledge will help us unite families, provide better service and will make the difference in lives for generations to come. Choose KVC and be the Difference.

2014-03-14 17:11:07 UTC
Brenda Cripps

People matter at KVC! I know and observe first hand the dedication of our exceptional hard working, knowledgeable and passionate staff who go above and beyond every day working with the children and families we serve. For those children and teens who have been removed from their family because of abuse or neglect and in foster care, they deserve a forever family to call their own. Every child and teen deserves to have love and a solid support system - a loving family. If you choose KVC for your Overnight Website Challenge Project to assist in the creation of our Adoption website, your team will also be a part of helping children and teens to find a forever family, something you can be proud of and know you have made a difference. KVC is a leader in child welfare and behavioral healthcare across the nation and an excellent organization doing amazing work. I sincerely hope you choose KVC for this project.

2014-03-14 18:49:47 UTC
Anonymous

We can't change the past, but by upgrading our site you can help us provide even more hope for the future of our kids.

2014-03-15 02:54:39 UTC
Anonymous

Please help change the lives of those that matter most! KVC is dedicated to finding forever homes for children in need and would greatly appreciate this opportunity.

2014-03-15 03:26:07 UTC
Anonymous

I believe there is a family out there for every child who needs that forever home. This website would help connect those families. KVC is an amazing agency and does amazing work. Our employees are dedicated in helping children from all backgrounds. I believe this website would bring it all together and the children's lives that will be changed is immeasurable. Please support KVC and the children of Kansas.

2014-03-15 04:02:22 UTC
Anonymous

Every child needs to be part of a family in order to develop a secure attachment and healthy sense of self. There are too many children waiting for their forever family. Please support us in our mission to have EVERY child find a family. Together can do it! "There can be no keener revelation of a society's soul than the way in which it treats its children." Nelson Mandela

2014-03-15 04:34:17 UTC
Anonymous

There are many children needing families. There is a family for every child. So why not help to establish a family for every child in as many ways possible! This is a great opportunity.

2014-03-15 21:57:02 UTC
Eric S.

Managing cases for KVC, I have the opportunity to interact with amazing kids day in and day out. They are resilient survivors of often unfortunate circumstances. And for those we are unable to successfully reunite with their families, every one deserves a forever home well-suited to fostering the unique personalities these kids have developed. Help us make the best possible matches between child and future parent by helping KVC put the power of the web behind bettering our kids' futures.

2014-03-16 02:28:27 UTC
MB

I have been a case manager for KVC for quite some time. Nothing is more gratifying than to be a part of a team of professionals who come together for the purpose of bringing kids together with their forever families. Imagine a 16 year old boy who has been in foster care for 10 years and finding a forever family. Anything is possible!!! If KVC is chosen for your Overnight Website Challenge Project you will be a part of something that you will never forget.

2014-03-16 08:16:01 UTC
Chrissy R

A website upgrade would be beneficial to help us increase and get the word out about the huge need for families for our children. While the website won't solve all of our problems, it would sure be an added benefit to having an updated website for people to explore and look at when they are searching for a future child for their family. Please help KVC with a website upgrade.

2014-03-17 00:10:17 UTC
SH

When people ask me where I work, they say they've never heard of KVC. We need to get the name out there so these kiddos can get adopted! What better way to do that than with a top-notch website?!!? GO KVC!!!

2014-03-17 13:00:07 UTC
Tammy Bartels, Kansas PTA President

As a parent and Kansas PTA President I see every day the positive impact families have on the lives of children. Children who are secure in their home life perform at immeasurably higher level than those in uncertain situations. PTA recognizes the need to connect children in care with forever families and hope you will join us in supporting the efforts of KVC and others to make that a reality!

2014-03-17 16:02:35 UTC
Private

The website would open up new doors for all the kids waiting to be adopted and to have their forever family. These kids need support and hopefully this would be easier to get the word out. These kids are amazing and are ready to feel secure.

2014-03-17 18:55:16 UTC
Renny Arensberg

Being selected for this project would have a dramatic and immediate impact on hundreds of children that KVC works with. We believe that children grow best in families and this new website will enhance our ability to find safe, loving and permanent families for the children we serve. A new and robust site will enable our children to communicate who they are and further advance our mission of finding them forever families. Please select KVC and join with us as we change the future one child at a time.

2014-03-17 20:20:25 UTC
Anonymous

KVC does amazing things for children. With the help of a new website, this effort will be maximized. Do it for the kids first, and the experience, second. You could change someone's life.

2014-03-17 20:35:12 UTC
Lauren Anderson

KVC believes that children grow best in families. However, to make that a reality for so many of the children in foster care who are eligible for adoption, their faces and stories have to be shared. An interactive adoption website that would match children in need of forever homes with families looking to adopt a child would help make this process easier. Every child deserves to grow up in a family!

2014-03-17 20:55:01 UTC
Anonymous

KVC helps so many children and families all over. Please consider them for this, they are so well deserving!!

2014-03-18 04:22:17 UTC
Anonymous

This project would not only have an impact on KVC's ability to reach more families to support kids in foster care, but could make a significant difference in the lives of so many children and young adults! The statistics on kids aging out of foster care with no one in their lives are grim. Who will these kids call when they're sick or visit on spring break? With a new website to help match these children and young adults with forever families, YOU can change their futures.

2014-03-18 14:59:53 UTC
TK

Nothing is more heartbreaking than a child who doesn't have a mom and a dad. And nothing is more beautiful than when that child DOES find his/her forever family. Joy and a sense of peace and security follow. Everyone needs a family! KVC is a national leader in adoption, but they are doing that with an outdated adoption website. Please choose KVC and help hundreds or even thousands of kids be matched with loving parents.

2014-03-18 15:15:12 UTC
Richard W.

KVC is a world class organization with world class employees. They have been a pioneer in the care and welfare of children across several states. They are very deserving of this generous gift of an updated website, allowing an extended reach and footprint for their adoption services.

2014-03-18 16:51:22 UTC
Julie Burdick

A new adoption website would be a huge asset for KVC in order to connect more children to families and find them forever homes. KVC focuses on selecting the best possible family for a child and ensures the parents meet certain requirements for adoption. Please help us with this website so we can help more children in foster care find forever homes!

2014-03-18 18:01:16 UTC
Anonymous

Every child deserves a forever family!! Please help us to spread this message so that we can reach more potential adoptive families.

2014-03-18 19:06:19 UTC
Ryan Hogue

The longer I am involved with KVC the prouder I am of what they accomplish each year for kids who need their assistance in finding a loving family for them to grow and prosper. An improved adoption website that they could use to make it easier to increase adoption of KVC kids would be a tremendous help to the kids who need it the most. This is very important to KVC and I hope that they get it!

2014-03-18 21:04:50 UTC
Danielle Bartelli

All children deserve to grow up in a stable, loving family. This website would allow KVC to reach more families and provide a glimpse into the lives of these children. Please help KVC connect a child waiting for a forever home, with a family waiting for that child.

2014-03-18 21:28:11 UTC
Anonymous

What a wonderful opportunity to participate in the process of a child or sibling group being a part of a family again.

2014-03-18 21:38:09 UTC
Anonymous

It can be difficult to match children with the right family. An adoption website would be great for KVC!!

2014-03-19 02:31:08 UTC
Anonymous

An updated adoption website would be a great asset to help children achieve permanency by gaining a forever family!

2014-03-19 13:46:34 UTC
Stephanie Smith

Please support KVC's effort to help children find loving, permanent homes!! This website could make a difference in a child's life.

2014-03-20 17:04:05 UTC
Anonymous

Please choose KVC. There's nothing better than for a child to feel he or she is loved and accepted forever by being adopted.

2014-03-20 17:05:55 UTC
GH

KVC is a national leader in child adoption. They are teaching other states and countries how to do what is in the best interests of each child. They are the right choice for the KC Overnight Website Challenge.

Our Mission

KVC exists because People Matter! Our mission is to enrich and enhance the lives of children and families by providing medical and behavioral healthcare, social services, and education. Staff are grounded in a set of values, or KVCisms, that guide the way we provide child welfare and behavioral healthcare services. Those values include "What would you want for YOUR child?," "Children can't wait," and "Excellence is not an act; it's a habit." We are a national leader in providing innovative, effective and compassionate care through services including foster care, adoption, in-home family therapy and children's psychiatric hospitals. KVC achieved the following results in fiscal year 2013: Nationally • 305 children adopted • 4,434 children served in KVC foster families • 7,723 children and families served through psychiatric residential treatment and hospital services • Expanded consulting services to public and private child welfare agencies Locally • Washington, D.C.: Helped reduce by 50% the average monthly number of children removed from their homes (from 45 to 24) • West Virginia: Trained 100% of case managers and therapists in Trauma Systems Therapy (TST) • Kentucky: Strengthened 3,500 children through family preservation programs • Nebraska: Supported 1,299 young people in KVC foster families; 36% were teenagers • Kansas: Surpassed 1,800 adoptions since 2005 (now that number is past 2,000)