An App for That

Chapin Hall and NowPow develop app to match Chicago families to services

Every day, human service providers look for community-based resources to address the unique needs of the populations they serve. To make this search easier, Chapin Hall is partnering with NowPow, a Chicago-based software developer, to create an app, “NowPow for Human Services.” The app is a mobile-optimized, web-based resource directory that allows case managers and social workers to match families to the programs and services they need.

Recently, Chapin Hall, in partnership with the University of Chicago Biological Sciences Division and the Illinois Department of Children & Family Services, completed a study looking at the feasibility of implementing NowPow within a community-based organization. Results from the study will be used to improve the user interface and better understand what steps are needed to effectively implement the tool within the processes of an organization.

NowPow, founded by Dr. Stacy Lindau, is a Chicago-based organization that connects people with high-quality community resources to address chronic health or social conditions. “NowPow for Human Services” refers to the suite of technological tools used by health care, child welfare, and other social and human services systems to expedite referrals to resources. These tools also help to close the loop by tracking referrals made to clients, providing clients with reminders about the services referred to them, and creating a multisided interface for service-providing organizations to coordinate services referred to clients.

Chapin Hall continues to collaborate with Dr. Lindau to examine how the availability of referral resources, identified through the app, can improve care and outcomes for families.

Mike Stiehl and Dr. Dana Weiner have worked extensively using geospatial analysis to understand the needs of vulnerable populations. In 2016, they developed a precursor to the tool that won the App Challenge held by the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago.

Contact Stiehl or Weiner for more information about the app.