The Needs Portal is a hybrid web-based resource, referral and Management Information System (MIS) that enables individuals in need to receive services more efficiently and efficiently. The conceptual model is based around a support ticket / helpdesk system that opens and streamlines communication between child welfare caseworkers, traditional (social service) and non-traditional (faith-based) community agencies, and parent mentors to enable families in need to receive services more efficiently and effectively.
Funding from Casey Family Programs has allowed us to refine the Needs Portal to better serve OhioSTART counties.
The Needs Portal is used to create referrals for OhioSTART services (Support Tickets); track dates of service provision; collect socio-demographic information; record responses to assessments for substance use (UNCOPE) and trauma exposure (ACES; CTAC) and ultimately generate individual and summary reports.
The Needs Portal is encrypted and uses SSI security. Individuals users may obtain individual log-in and passcodes that are generated from an approved list provided by OhioSTART partners. Lastly, to protect the privacy and confidentiality of families, individual users can only see information from cases where they are an identified partner.
The Needs Portal was previously used in California where, in partnership with two regional offices of the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), the tool was pilot-tested for a period of four years. Click here for more on the research associated with the Needs Portal.
Registered users may access the Needs Portal here.