Reclaiming Futures, a leader in improving behavioral health outcomes for youth and families in schools and youth justice settings has chosen Tickit Health as its technology partner for Here to Help, Let’s Connect™, a new Digitally Empathetic aid for schools and community organizations in supporting children and their families with the return to school amidst Covid-19.
Reclaiming Futures is a nonprofit organization within Portland State University that provides platforms and programming that promote public health, justice, and equity for young people.
“A moment in time that has affected all of us when the Covid-19 pandemic began to close our schools,” said Evan Elkin, Executive Director at Reclaiming Futures. “We were in the midst of a project looking at ways that schools blend public health practices with the ways that they support whole school wellness and discipline practices to make them more inclusive.We were like many, startled by the school closures and how quickly the pandemic escalated and left us in a position where we had to think creatively to find solutions.”
Here to Help, Let’s Connect was designed to take advantage of Tickit’s Digital Empathy amidst this unique convergence of Covid-19 risks and racial awareness. The Tool confidentially captures information from families and youth regarding how they’ve been affected by Covid-19 and/or racial inequities, other social determinant barriers, a well as physical and mental health information, and then provides local available resources. The organizations that use the Tool are then able to offer additional supportive services to those in need.
“We’ve been impressed by Reclaiming Future’s commitment and novel approach to help youth who are struggling,” said Sandy Whitehouse, MD, Chief Medical Officer and Co-founder of Tickit Health. She continued “When they approached us with the idea for ‘Here to Help, Let’s Connect’ it complemented some of the work we were already doing for other clients, and we were thrilled to apply our digital empathy experience and knowledge to the project.”
Tickit’s Digital Empathy Design Framework applies the elements of empathy – compassion, cognition, and emotion – into the data collection process. Digital Empathy has demonstrated the ability to increase response rates, as well as improve the fidelity of the data captured and improve the efficiency of organizations using the data captured to better support the individuals in the population.
According to Evan Elkin, National Executive Director, “After collaborating with Tickit Health on the implementation of Check Yourself at the schools in California, Vermont, and Louisiana, we were incredibly impressed by the impact a digitally empathetic approach had in capturing sensitive information from the youth. As we began envisioning the development of a new Tool to aid family and youth during the pandemic and as they dealt with current matters such as racial reform and a return to school, choosing Tickit Health to collaborate with was an easy decision.”
About Reclaiming Futures: Reclaiming Futures launched in 2001 with 10 sites funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Originally designed for implementation across the full juvenile justice continuum, in 2007 the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) began funding a cohort of 12 sites that combined Juvenile Drug Courts with the Reclaiming Futures model. Our national initiative now includes more than 40 sites in over 15 states.
About Check Yourself: Check Yourself™ is a digitally empathetic, SBIRT-based screening tool developed at Seattle Children’s Research Institute and in use throughout King County, Washington, and elsewhere.