NASW member Ruby Guillen was invited to participate in the first-ever White House foster care and technology hackathon in late May.
Guillen, who was in foster care, is a fatal and severe child abuse and community violence technologist, researcher and analyst in the greater Los Angeles area.
She also is co-chair of the Technology Council for the NASW California Chapter.
Guillen, considers herself a hactivist (hacker + activist = hacktivist) for social work, as she maximizes the use of technology to advocate for the underrepresented.
As a “hacker for change” she has participated in more than 14 hackathons, where she pushes for technological innovation in social work.
The two-day hackathon held during National Foster Care Month brought together child welfare leaders, philanthropists, attorneys, foster care families and alumni as well as technology experts.
Federal leaders at the event pushed for dialogue for change in the child welfare system. As they shared technological strategies to improve foster care, technologists and other attendees were urged to “hack” challenges in child welfare using 21st-century solutions.
Federal leaders announced a number of new steps that aim to increase the use of technology to improve outcomes in the foster care system, including new regulations that guide the use of technology in child welfare.
In addition, the Pritzker Foster Care Initiative launched a $1 million Foster Care Technology Innovation Fund to boost nonprofit entrepreneurial efforts targeted to support transition-age youth 18-24 years of age in the foster care system.
From the September 2016 NASW News.