With all the buzz of the Silicon Valley, we often forget the innovation tradition in Connecticut and New Haven. You probably knew that Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin, but did you know he did it in New Haven? The Hamburger and the lollipop are also New Haven natives and a host of other inventions including the can opener, the frisbee, vulcanized rubber, styrofoam and the submarine have a “Made in Connecticut” label.
Continuing the centuries long tradition of invention and innovation, the City of New Haven, under the leadership of Mayor Toni Harp, has launched a program called YouthStat which uses technology to manage and deliver social services to several hundred at-risk youth in the New Haven school system. The City has chosen to partner with Veoci to provide a robust case management, collaboration, and communications platform for everyone involved in getting and keeping students on the path to success while containing the risks of expulsion from school, crime, incarceration, and failure to graduate.
Led by Jason Bartlett, the charismatic Youth Services Director for the City of New Haven and his counterparts, Gemma Joseph-Lumpkin and Kermit Carolina from the New Haven Board of Education, professionals from the housing authority officials, police, state probation and social workers, firefighters, city youth workers, street outreach workers, and people from community agencies that work with kids in need have all come together using Veoci, for an organized, structured, and coherent response to kids that without intervention are destined for prison or worse. Veoci provides instant communication, fast and timely response and most of all, accountability. Veoci helps those working directly with the children while at the same time, transparently and without any additional effort provided dashboards and charts on the team’s performance and highlighted needed improvements. This is a sea change from the deracinated and suboptimal systems that each participating organization used and the silos in which they operated. For those making overall decisions, real-time dashboards can be configured to cover various parameters such as task progress and milestone achievements; and controls can be set to limit access to specific entities such as school, community agencies, case-workers, or any role. The key with Veoci is the simplicity of the software and how it adjusts to the varying needs of the participants.
YouthStat currently focuses on 323 at-risk children from across New Haven’s schools using Veoci’s full-featured task and people management system. Veoci eliminates the need for emails and loose paper notes that can be easily lost and replaces them with one secure database where vital information is exchanged and stored while only accessible by those authorized.
Over the past year, two hundred and seventeen people have logged into VEOCI for Youth Stat work for an average of 21 logins each working day. These include 90 from the New Haven Schools and an additional 29 from the Board of Education, 10 from the City of New Haven, and the rest representing 20 non-profit and other organizations who serve adolescents in the New Haven area.