Case Management/Information Management Software

This article is more for administrators than houseparents, unless you know your facility is looking for case/information management software in which case pass this on to your administration.

Measuring outcomes, keeping records and managing the piles of information that has to be reported to social workers, licensing agencies and even board members is becoming more and more important in modern residential care.  Many agencies are discovering the flat paper file is not the best way to manage information and are turning to computer based systems.

I have been helping my agency look at different systems and have looked at some very good ones.  However, the problem with most of them was that they are so far out of our agencies budget we will never be able to implement any of them.  I am pretty sure there are other agencies out there like ours that can’t afford many of those systems.  The good thing for us and for them is that there may be an alternative. 

Back in 2005 I posted about an Open Source Case Management System called Freemed-YiRC, yesterday the developer of that package released a new updated version.

Freemed-YiRC is a software project which provides a fully-integrated, web-based, secure, modular, and customizable web-based product capable of providing Child Caring/Residential Care/Foster Care agencies with a fully functional internal case management/information management system.

Freemed-YiRC is FREE/OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE.

  • The software/source code is freely available for download from the FMYiRC site.
  • Freemed-YiRC is licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL)
    • In short, the GPL states that you are allowed to freely download, use, copy, and modify this software.

I am still fairly early in my research of this system and there is a lot I still don’t know so there isn’t a lot of information I can give.  However, there is a great deal of documentation as well as a live demo available on their website.  For those facilities that don’t have the technical expertise to implement it themselves or need modifications done the publisher is available for consultation and programing.  He can be contacted through the website.

Make Your Home More Peaceful!!!!

ComputerTime™ is parental-control software for Microsoft Windows that lets parents set limits on the amount of time and the time of day when their children can use the computer. SoftwareTime believes that the computer is an amazing tool for children, both for educational and social purposes. However, children need to have reasonable limits set for them, and that’s what ComputerTime allows you to do, quickly and easily. Parents no longer have to keep track of the time their children spend on the computer, ComputerTime does that for them. It takes just a few minutes to set limits for each child. ComputerTime gives back to parents the control they need over computer use.

I have used ComputerTime in my cottage as well as personally in my home for over 5 years.  It has been the best program I have found to control the amount of time our children spend on the computer.  Most other parental controls control the times your children can be on the computer, this program does that but also controls the AMOUNT of time your children can spend on the computer. 

Features Include:

  • Limit the amount of time in a day, week, or month (or combinations of these limits)
  • Set specific times during the day when the computer may be used
  • Allow only a certain amount of time on the computer at one sitting
  • Disable the use of the computer entirely
  • Alternate Limits – Set different limits for things like vacation week, or as a punishment
  • Time Tokens – Provide additional time, without changing settings, as incentive or reward. The token can be provided from anywhere, even over the phone
  • Can be use by any number of children in the household on the computer
  • Automatic updates over the Web
  • Password protected
  • Different time limits for weekdays and weekends, or even individual days

We have started using version 3 at our facility and the fact that it works on networked computers is a great feature.  Set one time limit and it doesn’t matter what computer your children log into, their time is deducted from that one limit.  No need for separate time limits on separate computers. 

For families, you can purchase a single license for $39.95, or get a family pack to cover all the computers in your home (up to 5) for $49.95.  For those that would be purchasing it for their facility, I recommend contacting the publisher at info@softwaretime.com for site pricing, otherwise the cost is $39.95 per license.

Get more information about ComputerTime by visiting their website @ www.softwaretime.com.

Book Review – Kids Who Outwit Adults

By: John R. Seita/Larry K. Brendtro

Disclaimer: This book review is my opinion of the book. If you have a different opinion of the book that is great. I know I have loved several movies and books that other reviewers have not liked and disliked movies and books that receive great reviews. I think we all have. If you would like to submit your own review, I may consider posting it. Thanks.

“Kids Who Outwit Adults” is my official introduction to “Positive Youth Development” the jist of which is rather than trying to control children and change their behavior you work to build a relationship with them and enlist their expertise about themselves to develop strategies for positive change.  It also focuses on recognizing the strengths of the child and building upon that, rather than looking at the negative behaviors and trying to change them.  In other words it is basically what I have always believed – Care about and build relationships with the children in your care and it will be much easier to bring about positive behaviors.

I think this is an excellent book and would be a good read for anybody working with or caring for youth in foster care or residential placement and everybody that might want to.  It is light on technique but very heavy on philosophy and theory and would be very helpful to build your foundation.  I wish it would have been available 11+ years ago when I became a houseparent.

It is also very good at relaying the perspective of youth in care.  The author – John Seita spent the majority of his youth in foster and residential care and brings first hand knowledge about the experiences of a youth in care and the things that make a difference in their lives.  The book also includes stories and insight from many other children that have been in placement and some of the techniques, both positive and negative, they have used to cope with their situation.

I highly recommend it for every program director looking to develop a program or looking for more positive things to incorporate into their program.  I also recommend it for all care providers and highly suggest you incorporate it into the care you provide.

The book is published by Solution Tree, Bloomington, IN.  Copyright 2005.  It is only available in soft cover and  is 147 pages long, though it is actually about 110 pages worth of reading. 

Click here for more information about this book at Amazon.com

McCrossan Boys Ranch – Sioux Falls, South Dakota

The final facility from my Mother-in-law was in the hospital tour is McCrossan Boys Ranch in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.  I didn’t get a chance to visit the facility and had to shoot the pictures from the interstate, so there is not a lot that I know about it.  They have never advertised job openings with me, though they do advertise openings on their website.

From what I can tell from their website, they are a therapeutic facility that uses shift workers, so this may be a good option for singles and individuals.  The Sioux Falls area is nice and offers a great deal of outdoor opportunities.  However, from my experience from living in that part of the country the winters can be very brutal.  You can visit their website at: www.mccrossan.org.

This is their ranch sign with a sizable herd of horses in the background.

I believe this to be a barn or indoor arena.

Because of time restrictions, I only had time to take pictures from the interstate so I don't know what this building is.

Because of time restrictions, I only had time to take pictures from the interstate so I don't know what this building is.

 Unfortunately I will have to make another trip out west here in the very near future because my mom is dying from brain and lung cancer.  I will be passing some more facilities during that trip and will post pictures when I get back.