Electronic case management with homeless youth

Bender, K.,
Schau, N.,
Begun, S.,
Haffejee, B.,
Barman-Adhikari, A.,
Hathaway, J.
Year Published: 2015
Journal Article
Journal Name: 
Evaluation and Program Planning
Volume: 50


These authors investigated the feasibility of providing electronic case management (ECM) to homeless youth using cell-phones, texts, email, and Facebook. Youth (n=48) were given prepaid cell-phones and a case manager provided four ECM sessions every 2–3 weeks over a 3-month period. Contact logs were used to record how many youth engaged in ECM, the number of attempts needed to elicit engagement, and youths’ preferred technology methods for engaging. Results show that level of engagement in ECM sessions varied, but most youth (87.5 percent) engaged in at least one session. Youth most commonly needed one contact before they engaged in an ECM session, and the majority responded by the third attempt. While youth most commonly answered calls directly, their preferred method of returning calls was texting. Eighty percent of youth described ECM positively, reporting themes of convenience, connection, and accountability. Findings suggest that the use of ECM, particularly texting, offers promise for providing services to homeless youth. Modified Author Abstract.

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