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Video Conferencing Helps Families in Crisis

Training helps nonprofits respond to crises, maximize impact

Video Guidance, a Minnesota-based visual communications company, is helping The Family Partnership, a social services organization, to use video conferencing to reach children and families in distress.
The Family Partnership manages six offices in the Minnesota and St. Paul area to provide services to vulnerable populations, and during 2011 the nonprofit used video conferencing to serve more than 17,000 clients. Video conferencing was used to provide mental-health counseling, violence prevention and community building services.
“Video conferencing is imperative because it gives us the ability to reach the diverse population within the metro region to make our bilingual and bicultural therapists accessible, regardless of where the client lives,” said Jane Ginsberg, The Family Partnership’s vice president of behavioral health. “We also need video conferencing to communicate more efficiently and effectively with our multiple offices,” she said.
Ginsberg explained that she had been frustrated by the lack of training that accompanied products offered by other companies.
“Unlike anyone else, Video Guidance provides thorough training to teach us, the end-user, how to make video conferencing simple and nonthreatening to use,” said Ginsberg. “Learning about new ways of using video conferencing has opened our eyes to possibilities we thought were out of reach.” Video conferencing technologies have broadened The Family Partnership’s network enabling it to respond to crises, provide critical expertise and receive ongoing education through distance learning, she added.
“We know it’s imperative that we outfit our customers with the appropriate skill-set so they are comfortable, confident and competent using video conferencing,” said Sheila Mueller, Video Guidance’s manager of training and customer experience. “Our goal is to provide not only the equipment but to make sure end users are able to successfully utilize it within their own unique applications.”