This article answers the most commonly asked questions we receive from Agencies regarding CarePortal.
Current & Potential CarePortal Requesting Agencies
This Article Answers:
- Who does the CarePortal network serve?
- Who can become a Requesting Agency?
- How do I know if someone is interested in assisting?
- How quickly should I expect a response?
- How long do requests stay open for a response?
- What type of information will be shared?
- Can churches give money to the caseworker to purchase the items requested?
- What happens when there are multiple responses from churches?
- What happens if a request is not fulfilled, or a church does not respond?
- Who has access to CarePortal?
- Is there some kind of scam prevention?
- Is CarePortal secure?
- Who follows up to make sure the request is fulfilled?
- What types of needs can a request be made for?
- Is CarePortal specifically for Christian churches?
1. Who does the CarePortal network serve?
CarePortal serves any child in crisis. Jesus cast the widest net of love, tearing down cultural biases and promoting radical, personal generosity and concern for those in need. With that example, CarePortal brings together diverse constituents – government agencies, churches, businesses, schools, and other ministries – to support children and families in crisis regardless of race, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, nationality, political leanings, etc. If we find any of our partners are discriminating against the children and families they meant to unconditionally serve, they will be removed from the network.
2. Who can become a Requesting Agency?
The primary consideration is relevance to the spectrum of child welfare we present to our church network (Prevention, Foster Care, Adoption, Aging out Youth). Our role is to connect churches to local child welfare needs, and to prevent them from being bombarded with needs not relevant to this work. This is the currency of trust we bring to the network. The second consideration is ‘supply and demand.’ We cannot have more requests being posted than the number of responding churches can handle. The third is protecting the purpose statements. There are 10 purpose statements that guide what types of requests can be submitted. If your agency is a child serving agency that has needs specific to coming alongside children in crisis, these three considerations will likely fit for you.
3. How do I know if someone is interested in assisting?
If a church member responds, the caseworker and/or agency rep will receive an email of notification and next steps.
4. How quickly should I expect a response?
As the caseworker or requesting partner you are able to specify a time frame ranging from 24 hours to 7-10 days. CarePortal is dependent on church leaders responding as soon as they can, and requesting partners doing the same.
5. How long do requests stay open for a response?
It varies by the level of urgency established when posted. It is up to the caseworker to close the request as soon as the need is met. For a ‘normal’ need (within 7-10 days), you will receive a reminder to close 14 days after posting and again at 28 days. For a high need, you will receive a reminder to close 10 days after posting and again at 20 days. For an emergency (within 24 hours), you will receive a reminder to close 7 days after posting and again at 14 days.
6. What type of information will be shared?
ONLY non-confidential information should be shared on CarePortal. No names or addresses. A detailed description of the need along with age and genders of children impacted is typically what is shared via CarePortal requests.
7. Can churches give money to the caseworker to purchase the items requested?
No, a caseworker cannot accept cash or gift cards. The caseworker has been encouraged to connect the family directly with the church leader should they have a monetary need.
8. What happens when there are multiple responses from churches?
The requesting partner can engage the church that has first responded, and/or the most helpful response. When the need is met, the worker closes the request and an email goes out to all the originally engaged churches.
9. What happens if a request is not fulfilled or a church does not respond?
It is possible that no one can meet the need. This is why the Child Welfare Worker/ Requesting Partner may also need to look into other forms of community support.
10. Who has access to CarePortal?
There are three posting options for requesting agency partners to select from that determine the process for their internal team on who makes requests. Options range from every caseworker on the staff to one specialized individual. On the church side, each church designates a ‘point person’ who receives the CarePortal requests directly and distributes them to potential responders.
11. Is there some kind of scam prevention?
Only verified e-mail addresses connected to our partner agencies have access to submit a request. They must select their name from a dropdown menu (or add it with an approved address). Once a request is submitted, it is funneled internally in the agency for approval before it is sent on to churches.
12. Is CarePortal secure?
YES, CarePortal is currently securely hosted using Amazon Web Services. The web server that hosts the CarePortal code is protected from the public internet by a load balancer and standard firewall. Administrative access to servers and data is limited to specific IPs over an encrypted connection utilizing public key authentication. The database that stores all requests and user data is automatically encrypted and replicated across multiple availability zones to keep the data secure and backed up in real time. All user access to the site is forced to use encrypted SSL connections to keep data private in transit.
13. Who follows up to make sure the request is fulfilled?
CarePortal is intended to open lines of communication. The outcomes are up to the church ministry leaders to follow up with their responders and the caseworkers to respond back in a timely fashion. However, we do have volunteer coordinators lined up to assist the church to get as many needs met as possible.
14. What type of needs can requests be made for?
Any needs submitted must fit one of the ten purpose statements to accomplish a case plan goal for children and families in crisis. CarePortal has three “tiers” of categories of needs.
Tier 1 – concrete goods and services. Examples: crib, clothing, professional services like exterminator, finances
Tier 2 – engagement requiring a background check. Examples: tutoring, mentoring, substance abuse classes, supervised visit facilities, transportation for adults, babysitting
Tier 3 – engagement requiring specialized training or a license. Examples: Safe Families, foster care, adoption
Tier 2 and Tier 3 typically launch in a county after Tier 1 has been running successfully for a certain amount of time. A church would have to be approved to become a Tier 2 or Tier 3 official church, recruiting and vetting responders for those types of needs.
15. Is CarePortal specifically for Christian churches?
CarePortal is a local church empowerment platform: it exists to mobilize Bible-believing Christian churches to care for vulnerable children and families in their own communities, stimulating life-changing relational connections in the process. The example and teachings of Jesus fuel everything we do. At the same time, CarePortal also brings together diverse constituents – government agencies, businesses, schools, and other faith-based ministries – to accomplish a common mission of caring for children together. There is a place at the table for everyone.