The USDA Rural Utilities Service’s (RUS) Distance Learning and Telemedicine www.rd.usda.gov program awarded $516,600 in grants to be combined with $170,606 in matching KVC Health System’s funds to total $687,206.
The funding will enable the KVC Health System www.kvc.org to expand their MyLink™ telehealth and distance learning program to hundreds of foster families in Kansas and Nebraska. This program helps children in not only in Kansas and Nebraska but also in West Virginia, and Kentucky.
KVC Health Systems headquartered in the greater Kansas City area is a private nonprofit 501(c) organization helping 50,000 children and families by providing medical and behavioral healthcare, social services, and education. This program enhances services provided by the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) www.dcf.ks.gov and the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) http://dhhs.ne.gov.
The MyLink program is a HIPAA compliant video conferencing program that uses iPads given to children in foster care to help increase access to therapeutic and crisis intervention services but also to deliver state-required training to foster parents in the home. The expansion of the program will connect 850 foster families in the Midwest to add to last year’s program that connected 160 foster families in East Virginia and Kentucky.
In Kansas alone, KVC Kansas http://kansas.kvc.org will receive $335,100 for their MyLink project to increase access to nearly 3,000 children in foster care via telemedicine annually and 550 foster homes via distance learning. All of the children and families reside in KVC’s 30 county Kansas region.
KVC Nebraska http://nebraska.kvc.org will receive $181,500 to be combined with $59,703 in matching funds for a total state expansion of $241,302. The funding will increase access for more than 500 children in foster care to crisis intervention and prevention and provide access via distance learning to 300 foster homes across Nebraska’s 93 counties.
When fully implemented, the program will provide iPads to foster families in four states, benefiting thousands of children in state custody who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect, or other family challenges.