WHEELING - To help their clients and employees, Crittenton Services has developed a free app for iPhone and Android smart phones.
Crittenton spokeswoman Stacy Rich said the app can be used by clients, which include girls 12 to 18 years old who are either pregnant or parenting; employees who are assisting the girls and families; and other agencies in the state such as the Department of Health and Human Resources, which refers clients to Crittenton.
"We thought it was important to enter this tech age and everyone seems to have an app now," she said. "The idea was we could make things more convenient for our clients."
For example, for clients of Wellspring, which is a service that involves counselors coming to the home, the app can be used to see the counselor's photo before the first visit.
"Many of our clients are low-income families that don't have the means to travel to an office. A lot of them are rural - they might be an hour away. ... You can pull up the staff directory in the app and see a picture of the staff member, their phone number and email address. That way you know exactly what our staff member looks like before they knock on the door," Rich said.
DHHR officials can use the app to check on the availability of beds in Crittenton's residential program or see how long their waiting list is. Photos of offices across the state and the interior of the residential program building in Wheeling also are available.
"DHHR makes the referral, but many times judges are involved in that decision or a probation officer. They will also have access to this app," Rich said.
Rich said the public can also use the app to make donations to Crittenton or to learn how to become a volunteer. It also has a button to dial the organization's office.
Rich said she will be placing the app's access codes on the Crittenton website www.florence-crittenton.net - and its Facebook page. It can also be found by searching Crittenton in iPhone or Android app stores.