UFC: Texting to Increase Staff Capacity
United Friends of the Children (UFC) assists current and former foster children with housing and educational services in Los Angeles, CA. Staff engage with students through events. For instance, they provide transportation for students to events throughout the county.
Helping students and families attend events
The process to confirm details with students and their foster families for the events specific to them at many different locations, set up transportation, confirm attendance, and follow up was tedious. Plus, distracted middle and high school students never returned phone calls.
Counselors with caseloads of 15-60 students found that they were spending all of their time on the phone chasing students. Counselors had no luck calling students with reminders or getting confirmations. Further, counselors found that they lacked the time to engage with students on the things that mattered – the issues unique to minor foster children.
Texting to increase staff capacity
Then, UFC tried texting. They quickly found workload relief due to the fact that most of the students and their families in their caseloads responded to texts.
Counselors found that with the ability for counselors to quickly respond to a child’s specific question, the child was more likely to re-engage on a wide range of issues.
By using Blended Messaging®, the counselors could also use automation to capture student sentiment and choices quickly and in aggregate.
Students also won with the ability to get specific information on their phones that they could refer back to. Further, they added one more way to connect with their counselors.
UFC’s success of reaching students where they were, when they needed the information with a simple way for students to confirm and react, gave counselors time to be counselors.
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