Using video visits allows children in foster care and their parents to form and keep family bonds while they are separated.
Salem, OR (PRWEB) November 23, 2015
For more than two years, the Department of Human Services (DHS), Marion County Child Welfare Office in Salem, Oregon, has both hosted and had one of the highest volumes of remote video visits for foster kids. But Marion County Child Welfare hit an impressive milestone on October 21, when they completed their 170th visit and inched closer to the 200 mark, something they only dreamed about accomplishing when the program began. The visits connect them to their incarcerated family member via a video visitation system provided by Telmate, a leader in the world of corrections technology, based in San Francisco, California.
The kids come into the office and sit in front of a computer where they’re able to have a video visit with the family member who is at a video kiosk at their facility. The program helps kids avoid long, expensive trips, and the harsh environment of correctional facilities.
Since May 5, 2014, Marion County has completed all of its Telmate Video Visits from the convenience of their Salem office. They average about 10 remote visits a week. Marion County is the largest child welfare operation in the Oregon area, with over 250 employees in their branch. Other DHS districts in Oregon are also utilizing this technology and conducting video visits throughout all of Oregon Department of Corrections’ 14 facilities.
“Using video visits allows children in foster care and their parents to form and keep family bonds while they are separated,” reported Tamara Miller, Office Manager, Marion County Child Welfare. “Oregon’s correctional facilities span the state so using video in many cases eases the need for travel while still allowing children to see, hear and interact with their loved ones reinforcing family bonds that can decrease trauma during separation.”
Telmate video visits are one of many communication, education and entertainment software solutions provided by Telmate. Video visits not only help friends and family connect remotely with inmates, but also increase security and control at facilities.
Oregon Child Welfare began working with Telmate as a 90-day pilot program in June of 2014, when incarcerated parents with kids under DHS supervision could visit for free while getting used to the system.
“Incarceration affects the entire family and not just the inmate,” said Telmate’s Chief Marketing Officer, Jeff Hansen. “Being estranged from your parents is already jarring enough in a kid’s life, and we’re happy to do what we can to bring these families together in difficult circumstances.”
For more information about Telmate’s video visits, visit
About DHS: The Department of Human Services is Oregon’s principal agency for helping Oregonians achieve well-being and independence through opportunities that protect, empower, respect choice and preserve dignity, especially for those who are least able to help themselves. For more information about DHS, visit http://www.oregon.gov/dhs/Pages/index.aspx
About Telmate: Telmate is the fastest growing provider of inmate phones and video
visitation, secure messaging, mobile applications, inmate tablets and investigator tools. Telmate’s cutting-edge platforms are deployed in over 300 correctional facilities in North America spanning nearly all U.S. states and Canadian provinces. Telmate is headquartered in San Francisco, California. To find out more about Telmate, visit http://www.telmate.com.