Innovative social impact technology helps fight poverty in Santa Clara

December 27, 2017

Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County is turning to technology to create innovative products that can solve the difficult challenges of poverty in its community. The nonprofit social service and social justice agency partnered with SeniorGrowth (a global data-analytics technology company dedicated to improving the quality of life for elderly and vulnerable individuals) to successfully co-develop and pilot an innovative new client service and program evaluation application, MyWellBeing (MWB). The application has already proven to have a positive impact on clients’ lives.

The MWB application runs on SeniorGrowth’s cloud-based care platform. It allows any case manager or caregiver to assess an individual’s quality of life and self-sufficiency level via a mobile device like a tablet or smartphone. After an assessment is completed, SeniorGrowth’s proprietary algorithm analyzes the results and creates a well-being profile with goals to track progress, assisting with both care planning and easily aggregating outcomes data among thousands of clients for program reports.

To improve the lives of struggling families and individuals in its community, Catholic Charities needs accessible, user-friendly tools that stretch its resources, engage clients, and allow it to easily track progress in lifting clients out of poverty. Innovative technology like the MWB application can help improve the capacity of nonprofit organizations to address poverty and measure the organizations’ social impact.

Catholic Charities piloted the MWB service in its Golden Gateway Program, which serves physically, linguistically, or culturally isolated older adults with undiagnosed depression or mental health problems. Eighty-six individuals in the program were evaluated. Case managers worked one-on-one with each client to create a personal care plan. Each case manager was able to monitor and track his or her clients’ progress and conduct a mid-term assessment over the next six months. The results from all 86 individuals was outstanding. Every single individual showed improvement in multiple domains, including housing, health care access, safety, mental health, and food security. The program as a whole achieved 100 percent client engagement for the first time.

“At Catholic Charities we are in the heart of Silicon Valley, and we are constantly scanning technology innovations to see how we can adapt them to serve our community,” said Jackie Copeland-Carson, Chief Operations Officer at Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County. “MWB is a powerful and transformative tool for people of all backgrounds trying to create a better future. Its potential impact for all our clients and the broader community is exciting.”

Inspired by the success of the MWB pilot, Catholic Charities plans to roll out the new service to the rest of their 34 programs serving over 38,000 clients each year. The agency is in discussions with other regional and national Catholic Charities agencies to replicate the solution and amplify the impact.

The MWB application is part of Catholic Charities’ Social Impact Technology Initiative, designed to innovate cutting edge tech solutions to our region’s most complex social challenges.

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