Introducing My Camden Resources
Last spring, the Camden Coalition partnered with national software platform Aunt Bertha to launch a social services search tool for Camden. The site functions as a Yelp for social services in Camden County, and helps providers and individuals get accurate, up-to-date information on resources that can help meet their needs. We’ve worked with Aunt Bertha and our community partners to make a lot of improvements in the past year, including changing the name of the site to My Camden Resources, and adding new features.
“My Camden Resources” was decided on in conjunction with our Community Advisory Council and the providers who attend our monthly Camden Care Management Meetings as a name that would be simple for both providers and Camden residents to understand and remember, and that could be owned by the whole community.
One new feature we’ve added is rich descriptions for how programs can be navigated. For over 200 programs, indicated by a “verified” tag on the site, we include detailed, user-friendly information, including what documents are required, when the best days to go are, and more.
“The descriptions are very helpful,” said Jay Mainthia, an AmeriCorps Health Coach working as a care coordinator at Cooper Hospital’s Urban Health Institute. He works with patients on everything from scheduling follow-up appointments to finding housing. “The search tells you the things a patient will need before they call, and those instructions can be easily printed out for the patient.”
We are also engaging the organizations that run the programs listed on My Camden Resources to claim their listings and make sure those listings stay up-to-date. Our “claim your listing” campaign will not only help ensure accuracy, but will also strengthen the community of health and social service organizations in Camden, hopefully leading to other areas of collaboration. Organizations can also access a My Camden Resources toolkit that includes an instructional webinar, community engagement materials in English and Spanish to spread the word to their clients, and a search widget that can be added to their own websites.
My Camden Resources averages 1,000-2,000 searches per month, and about 80 percent of registered users are health care and social service providers. These providers can now take advantage of new features like the website’s guided search and improved filters to problem solve right on the site. They can save listings to a favorites folder, and can access their client referrals in inbound and outbound referral folders. For Camden’s pediatric providers, school health forms are now easily accessed on the My Camden Resources site, an improvement made based on feedback from a school nurse-pediatric roundtable last winter.
Danielle White, a service coordinator for The Connection at the Southern New Jersey Perinatal Cooperative, has used My Camden Resources to link families with small children to resources. “One time was for food pantries, another time for housing information and shelters, and a third time was for baby supplies,” she said. “It gives you a wide variety of information for items in your search, and was very helpful when I needed it.”