Overview

The National Association of Social Workers - CA, Technology Council, associations and various non-profits are leading the charge to hack for child abuse. Join us to hack for child safety!


Mission:
The mission of CAP is to merge child advocates and tech to create technology solutions and initiatives that will contribute to the reduction of child abuse and address the needs and challenges when children are in imminent danger.

Child Abuse & Community Violence
We know that child abuse, and all forms of violence exist across all communities. However, the response processes from federal, state, county, municipal and nonprofit agencies are not in alignment because they aggregate data and knowledge from a stand-alone/siloed process. Hence, agencies are hindered in creating effective and efficient response methods for children in crisis. With this in mind, how can technology play a role in reducing child abuse and other forms of violence? More importantly, how can technology influence the response process when children are in danger in the middle of the night when most government agencies and nonprofit offices are open only Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM?

These are some of the challenges that will be addressed at this hackathon. In addition, subject/matter experts in fatal/severe child abuse, domestic violence, and violence intervention/prevention specialists will be paired with hackers to explore the possibilities. Hence, bringing solutions to the forefront for the sake our children.


CHILD ABUSE CASE STUDY:
A little boy lies in bed – shivering as he is only covered with a thin bed sheet. He slowly opens his sleepy eyes and stares into the emptiness of the room. He looks around and he does not recognize the walls that surround him or the small blue teddy bear that is next to him and a balloon floating near the foot of the bed. He observes that the walls are connected to an array of electronic devices with flashing lights. Then, he realizes that he too is connected to those machines. Confusion sets in. He begins to realize that he is a patient in the hospital. But, he does not understand how he got there. He attempts to sit up but a sharp pain shoots up his spine. He looks down and observes bandages and wires connected to his torso. He begins to cry and there is no one in the room to comfort him.

A while later, a familiar face appears as his aunt walks up to his bedside – with tears in her eyes and a trembling heart. His aunt reaches out and holds his tiny hand. The child cries to her, “I want my mommy.” The aunt doesn’t tell him the truth. She tells him that his mommy is sleeping but does not tell him that she is in the hospital’s cold basement ready for the coroner. The aunt asks the little boy what he remembers from earlier today. The child replies, “I remember playing with my cars on the living room floor and my mommy was on the couch watching television. My daddy came home and started to yell bad words at my mommy. My mommy stood up and that’s when I saw my daddy take his fist and began punching my mommy. I got really mad. I didn’t want my daddy to beat my mommy again like he did yesterday. I got up and ran between my daddy and mommy. I don’t remember anything else.”

The Children’s Bureau report, published in January 2017, shows an increase in child abuse referrals from 3.6 million to 4 million cases. The number of children involved increased to 7.2 million from 6.6 million. The report also indicates an increase in child deaths from abuse and neglect to 1,670 in 2015, up from 1,580 in 2014.1 Some reports estimate child abuse fatalities at 1,740 or even higher.

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Themes

How do children in crisis/imminent danger in the middle of the night access services when government agencies (federal, state, county, municipal) and nonprofits are only open during business hours (9 AM to 5 PM) Monday through Friday.

During business hours, most children are in daycare, preschool and/or in some form of an educational setting. The level of risk is minimal because the children are not being subjected to neglect, abuse, and violence; in addition, during the day most parent(s) and/or caretaker(s) are usually at work. As a result, children are less likely be subjected to violence. However, after 6:00 pm, children m...

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Nonprofit agencies that respond and/or provide services to violent incidents do not maximize their collaborative potential because they are not linked together.

Nonprofits thrive through the grant process. However, most grants only permit 10% of their funding for administrative costs, leaving little or no money to acquire technology. Furthermore, if they do acquire technology, due to the very limited scope of the grant process, they might not have the funds to maintain, upgrade, and/or modify their technology tools to improve their service plan.

First responders are not able to coordinate responses with other available services for individuals in crisis.

First Responders (federal, state, county, and municipal) and nonprofits are not linked together. Thus, it is difficult to coordinate and provide necessary services when children are in crisis or facing imminent danger. Most of the time, a band-aid approach is used. The lack of coordination fuels the chaotic use of service provision hours which are tied to the agency’s funding cycles. Additionally...

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