Camden County Resource Directory Debuts

The Camden County Resource Directory was launched June 1, 2016 with over 50 people in attendance at CPAC.  Freeholder Carmen Rodriguez was among the dignitaries in attendance.  Freeholder Rodriguez shared remarks about the two year investment of time and energy involved by all who made the online directory a possibility.

The Camden County Covenant  for Children, Youth and Families was established by Camden County Freeholder Director Louis Capelli in response to a KIDS COUNT Report issued by the Advocates for Children of New Jersey (ACNJ), citing areas of challenge to the well being of children and families in Camden County. Freeholder Director Capelli asked Freeholder Carmen Rodriguez to lead a mobilization of community partners to improve outcomes for the children, youth and families of Camden County. Consequently Camden Mayor Dana Redd joined the effort as co-chair with Freeholder Rodriguez, and the Community Planning and Advocacy Council (CPAC) was designated as the convening partner to plan and manage Covenant activities.

Thank you to all who attended the launch of this exciting venture.  Thank you to our partners for their support in planning and developing the Compass.

The State of New Jersey:

Office of Attorney General

Department of Law and Public Safety

Department of Education

 

Collaborative Partners for Camden County Youth Network including:

Camden County

City of Camden

Community Planning & Advocacy Council

Center for Family Services – Family Crisis Intervention Unit – Family Links

Genesis Counseling Centers

Teem Gateway YE2S Center – Camden City

Hopework’s N’ Camden

See the links below for coverage from Channel 6 Action News and Courier Post.

http://6abc.com/society/one-stop-shop-website-for-social-services/1367117/

Compass Directory Launch Article Courier Post

PENNSAUKEN – A new online portal was launched Wednesday to streamline the connection between social service providers and families throughout Camden County.

The Camden County Covenant for Children and the Community Planning Advocacy Council (CPAC) announced the initiative.

Compass, found at camdencountyresourcecompass.org, provides greater access to underutilized services available from the Camden County Covenant for Children partner agencies. The website currently offers more than 365 programs that help children transition into adulthood, ranging from employment training to youth services.

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Hopeworks, a nonprofit training program that gives Camden students access to website design and development training and exposure to GIS technology, created and designed the website in conjunction with the state Attorney General’s Office.

Freeholder Carmen Rodriguez, liaison to the Camden County Department of Health and Human Services, was on hand for the launch. She spoke about creating an easier way for county residents to find a wide spectrum of critical services.

 Compass, a one-stop website that connects Camden County residents with social service providers. Users can browse more than 365 agencies and services currently offered through the website. (Photo: Matt Flowers)

“The challenge has been that although we have many beneficial services throughout our county, it has been difficult for families to figure out how to find and access the right service or resource to meet their particular needs in a timely manner,” she said.

“Compass will act as a navigator to a real-time online directory that parents, youth, community members, providers and even our judges can use to find the services and resources they need.”

Formed in 2009, the Covenant is a collaborative effort to provide children with the tools they need to succeed, offering resources and information and opportunities.

Rodriguez noted the project took two years to complete. Prior to the digital solution, she said she took calls from parents who had no idea how to find the resources they needed and would spend hours sifting through pamphlets and paperwork.

“It is our responsibility to ensure that all children have a safe and nurturing environment in which to develop into adulthood,” Rodriguez said. “This new tool will assist our community with providing our children with the proper guidance and environment to prosper.”

Hopeworks intern and Camden County Community College student Justin Connor helped design the website. The 19-year-old spoke about the issues his family faced searching for resources for his sister, who has autism, and brother, who has ADHD.

“Information is so hard to get sometimes when it’s on paper,” he said. “In print, you have to look through every nook and cranny to find what you need, which takes time. Now, with Compass, you can find what you need in a minute.”

Hopeworks plans on tracking metrics, such as page views and the number of people reaching out to program contacts to monitor the website’s success.

Matt Flowers: (856) 486-2913; mflowers@gannettnj.com

 

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