Digital transformation in youth care
At Hoppinger, we love complex, digital challenges. Especially if we can make an impact with our knowledge and experience. That is why we are proud to tell you about this case. In 2020, Jeugdzorg Nederland, also on behalf of initiators, the Dutch Association for Foster Families and the Association of Dutch Municipalities, selected Hoppinger as a partner for realising their digital ambition based on a European tender procedure. That ambition consisted of being able to better support foster parents and foster care advisors, hence empowering them. Foster parents should feel supported in their task and be able to promote their expertise. There is also a desire to recruit more new foster parents by providing information about foster parenting. Because there is a shortage of foster parents, some children fall through the cracks, stay longer in an unsafe home situation or live in a home, while a foster family is a much better solution. Of course we are happy to help realise this ambition.
The regionally oriented youth care institutions have already devoted a lot of time and attention to support, as well as professional development, for existing foster parents and the recruitment of new foster parents. Jeugdzorg Nederland, the Dutch Association for Foster Families (NVP) and the Association of Dutch Municipalities (VNG) decided to join forces. The greatest impact and scale can be achieved if there is one national platform for foster parents. A place where foster parents and interested parties can find information, foster parents can meet, they can ask questions and learn. Professionals can also go there for knowledge and referrals.
Pillars of architecture
Based on target group research, we have listed a few important principles for the platform. For example, the development of the ‘foster parent is central’, we provide extra trust and safety, and we facilitate low-threshold meetings with other foster parents, so that the foster parents know that they are not alone. These themes are reflected in the pillars of the community platform. In addition to information aimed at recruiting new foster parents, the platform had to have a library and learning environment with rich content on all aspects of foster parenting: editorial content, expert content and user generated content.
One of the ways to create user generated content is via the community. In the community, foster parents can share experiences and ask questions to other foster parents. Because foster parents want to exchange experiences with each other in confidence and the situation is sometimes vulnerable, the community section on the platform is completely protected. Foster parents only get access after the application has been approved. In addition to the information in the library, the platform contains a guide in which more and more activities for foster parents can be found, such as training courses, lectures and events. Foster parents can also make use of various online learning options via the platform.
E-learning about foster parenting
Offering training in the form of e-learning is an important component of this platform. It is an integral part of the underlying ambition of the project. Preliminary research shows that foster parents have a need to continue to grow their foster parenting skills once the foster child comes into their home. For example, by learning about how they can best deal with certain situations, where certain child behavior comes from and what laws and regulations there are for foster parents. By making e-learning an integral part of the platform, users with an account based on their profile and interests will receive recommendations for appropriate training. The e-learning functionality is also interwoven throughout the platform. You can also take short quizzes about foster parenting in the library, which is freely accessible without a login.
Flying start by Nieren.nl
We believe that our experience in realising the Kidney platform (nieren.nl), and the added value that the platform offers for kidney patients and their families, was a plus in winning the tender for the Foster care project. That experience, as well as the underlying, proven (technical) solution consisting of almost all the pillars that the platform Foster care (pleegzorg.nl) also needed, gave the team of Hoppinger and Jeugdzorg Nederland a flying start. Of course we have provided the platform with its own identity. The branding was designed by agency Today. Our designers have done the online translation and added appealing illustrations. The results are impressive!
- Platform identity and branding in partnership with Today
- Unified UX for recruiting new and supporting existing foster parents
- An extensive library, activity guide and protected community with forum, blog, chat etc.
- Personalised online learning opportunities through fully integrated e-learning solution
- Technical layered architecture, based on components and APIs aimed at future-proofing, security and performance
- Two-factor authentication (2FA) for added security
Results so far
After a thorough tender procedure and a very pleasant realisation process, we went live on the 25th of March 2021! Of course we will soon share the first successes with you. However, the first victories have already been won: the new platform will also yield a lot for the underlying organisations. All parties have achieved a major efficiency advantage by offering expertise through the joint platform instead of managing this individually. A lot of time is saved because content no longer has to be produced and managed by all the different youth care organisations. This also improves the quality of the content. The time and money saved due to this, can now be spent on better serving the foster parents. Nice, isn't it!
Hoppinger is not only a digital partner with Jeugdzorg Nederland, but we also accompany a large number of other organisations in the health sector. We see that different organisations and target groups have similar issues. The solutions to these issues naturally show many similarities. For example, we wrote earlier that the Kidney platform (Nieren.nl) has been the basis for the Foster Care website (pleegzorg.nl). It makes us proud that we can also work from these two platforms on the Dementia website (Dementie.nl), an initiative of Alzheimer Nederland.
Together with these three clients, we will continuously optimise and further develop these three different, but certainly comparable, platforms. What we improve on one platform can also contribute to the objectives of the other platform. Through case synergies and reuse of best practices, we offer optimal value, but at the same time we keep an eye on the unique situation and needs of each underlying target group and organisation.
Does your organisation have a similar issue?
We are happy to help with the solution!