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 KVCâ€™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!
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