Animal Welfare Professionals

 View Only
Expand all | Collapse all

Tool to Organize Availability in Our Foster Homes

  • 1.  Tool to Organize Availability in Our Foster Homes

    Posted 05-18-2024 08:37 AM

    I volunteer for a foster-based cat rescue. We're looking for software/website/program that would allow us to organize how many spots each foster has and what type of spots are available.  For example, if we get a request to intake a bottle feeder, we could quickly reference the database to see who was available instead of emailing all of our fosters and posting to our Facebook group and then hoping someone responds. We have much better luck when we ask individual fosters directly but need a way to know who to contact. I want to be able to enter each foster's name and contact info with what type of spot they have open (kittens, adults, quarantine, medical, behavioral, etc.). In this way, we could search for "kitten" and pull up everyone who has an open spot and know how many open spots each foster had. Thank you for any info you might have to share!


    #FosterPrograms

    ------------------------------
    Michelle S.
    Volunteer -
    LCCR
    PA
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: Tool to Organize Availability in Our Foster Homes

    Posted 05-18-2024 09:45 PM

    I can't say enough good things about AirTable as a program to use.  We've been using it for a couple of years and it is an amazing tool that can do everything you need and much much more.  The data lives in the cloud, so easily shareable among the team on a PC or smartphone.     It's also very easy to use and modify. 

    We have ~150 fosters and last year we foster 350-400 kittens per year and it works like a charm.  In addition to tracking/categorizing our fosters and showing who has kittens/who is available, we track all our kittens with it , record adopter info, use it  to gather foster parent availability for each month, and use it for weekly check ins for behaviour kittens in our 'charm school' program to track their progress.   We upgraded this year to the non-profit paid plan (well worth the money) so we could keep all historical data, but there's a free version (up to 1,000 records) that we used all of last year with no problems.    I'm not sure how big your program is, but if you are our size or smaller, the free version will be more than enough.   I'd be happy to talk more or do a Zoom call to show you how we use it, and I'd be happy to share our template with you.    It is a phenomenal tool and will make your life much much easier.



    ------------------------------
    chris zorzi
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: Tool to Organize Availability in Our Foster Homes

    Posted 05-19-2024 07:21 AM

    Hi Chris,

    Thank you so much! What template did you use? Could we connect? best,Michelle



    ------------------------------
    Michelle S.
    Volunteer -
    LCCR
    PA
    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: Tool to Organize Availability in Our Foster Homes

    Posted 05-19-2024 02:59 PM

    Hi, Chris! I have a website designed to both recruit Fosters as well as provide information on fostering- what it is; address foster fears, educate, etc. It links to our local shelter and focuses on the Critical dogs that are next for euthanasia. Its a high-kill shelter. 

    ** Does your app allow communication between the foster and people who are trying to find Fosters? I'm very interested in Zooming with you on this app. My afternoons are typically free.

    Thanks so much, Catherine 

    My website = wefosterdogs.org 

    https://wefosterdogs.org/#sl_embed&page=shelterluv_embed_144491698423485475%2Fembed%2Fanimal%2F51726614



    ------------------------------
    Catherine Pipe
    Owner
    We Foster Dogs Organization
    Cordova TN
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: Tool to Organize Availability in Our Foster Homes

    Posted 05-19-2024 06:47 PM

    Hi Catherine,

    Airtable is a database.  It is not set up to connect folks as you're looking to do with your website, at lease the way we use it, it does not have that functionality.   Maybe  someone technically minded could figure out  a way to make it do that, but that's way beyond my skill set.

    Sorry!

    -Chris



    ------------------------------
    chris zorzi
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: Tool to Organize Availability in Our Foster Homes

    Posted 30 days ago

    Adding to the Airtable chorus here, we use it extensively at our shelter and the nonprofit plan is worth it. (Just watch the number of seats and make sure people are genuinely using their access.)

    There are also a lot of integrations you can use with Airtable for community connections, depending on what exactly you need to do. 



    ------------------------------
    Simon Smith
    Project Manager
    Mendocino Coast Humane Society
    CA
    ------------------------------



  • 7.  RE: Tool to Organize Availability in Our Foster Homes

    Posted 05-19-2024 07:17 AM

    Thank you so much!! I greatly appreciate the help!



    ------------------------------
    Michelle S.
    Volunteer -
    LCCR
    PA
    ------------------------------



  • 8.  RE: Tool to Organize Availability in Our Foster Homes

    Posted 05-19-2024 07:18 AM

    I agree with Chris who mentioned Airtable. We are a large organization, but we are still currently using the free version of airtable and I'm making it work for us. We use an On-Deck system for kittens and puppies so we are able to get very detailed with foster preferences (for example newborn neonates vs gruel kittens vs weaned kittens). My favorite part about airtable that an excel sheet doesn't do well is the ability to sort by foster preference type. With airtable, you can sort by multiple options without excluding other choices- something I found that excel does not do well at. 

    I got inspiration for this system from this ASPCA video here . I have it bookmarked, and I can't recall where it came from to be honest. It starts with an orientation system, but moves onto the "On-deck" system later in the video. Here is an example form that they share as well. If you are interested in chatting more about how  my team uses this on-deck system or want any of our templates for using it/introducing it to our foster parents, let me know! 

    Here is a screenshot of how part of our airtable looks. I've hidden the email column and blacked out the names for privacy reasons. We absolutely love this system and it really helps with bottle babies and knowing how many fosters we have ready and available to foster at a given time. We have found this to be an excellent tool during kitten season that saves us a lot of time in finding specific fosters such as bottle feeders, sick kitten fosters, weaned baby fosters, etc. If you want to see our form as an example, feel free to let me know I'd be happy to chat more!



    ------------------------------
    Kasey Berry
    SPCA of Texas
    Dallas TX
    ------------------------------



  • 9.  RE: Tool to Organize Availability in Our Foster Homes

    Posted 05-19-2024 07:22 AM

    Hi Kasey - Thank you so much for the detailed information!! I really appreciate it.



    ------------------------------
    Michelle S.
    Volunteer -
    LCCR
    PA
    ------------------------------



  • 10.  RE: Tool to Organize Availability in Our Foster Homes

    Posted 28 days ago

    Michelle,
    One solution we implemented at AnimalsFirst to address this was giving the users the ability to set, edit, and monitor availability of foster parents within the profile for each foster parent. You can create custom fields and/or custom tags to quickly identify foster parents with specific characteristics such as "good with bottle babies" or "experienced dog handler." We also have a table that shows exactly how many animals each parent has and how many they are able to have. Another way to monitor capacity among foster homes, is using our Visual Kennel with each home identified as a "kennel" with capacity customized accordingly. Additionally, we provide the ability to create a customizable foster application with an iframe to embed on your website. Our Mobile Foster app enables each foster parent to see the animals in their care. Based on permissions you set, foster parents can view or edit information related to their foster animals. That can include writing bios, adding photos, and linking videos, among other operations. We can also provide an iframe for organizations to display animals available for foster on their website. If you have any questions related to our system, please let me know and we can connect offline.

    Chris
    cfitzgerald@animalsfirst.com 



    ------------------------------
    Chris Fitzgerald
    Chief Product Officer
    AnimalsFirst
    Rochester NY
    ------------------------------



  • 11.  RE: Tool to Organize Availability in Our Foster Homes

    Posted 27 days ago

    Your system for monitoring fosters sounds fantastic!  In Los Angeles our shelters are so overcrowded (Chesterfield Shelter has 500 dogs!) the city council has recently decided to provide stipends for fosters.  I dont know how they are going to manage such a large program with 6 city shelters and over 1500 dogs.  Can I put you in touch with someone here that is involved with this?  Melissa Klaskin Levy



    ------------------------------
    Melissa Klaskin
    psychologist
    Reducing Animal Stress
    CA
    ------------------------------



  • 12.  RE: Tool to Organize Availability in Our Foster Homes

    Posted 27 days ago
    Certainly, Melissa.  I know Staycee Dains and Annette Ramirez at LA City but would be more than happy to connect with others to discuss challenges and figure out solutions together.
    Genuinely, Chris


    On Thu, May 23, 2024 at 11:15 AM Melissa Klaskin via Maddie's Pet Forum <Mail@maddiesfund.org> wrote:
    Your system for monitoring fosters sounds fantastic! In Los Angeles our shelters are so overcrowded (Chesterfield Shelter has 500 dogs!) the city... -posted to the "Animal Welfare Professionals" community
    Maddie's Pet Forum

    Animal Welfare Professionals

    Post New Discussion Post New Discussion via Email
    Manage Profile
    Re: Tool to Organize Availability in Our Foster Homes
    Reply to Discussion Reply to Discussion via Email Reply Privately to Author Reply Privately to Author via Email
    Melissa Klaskin
    May 23, 2024 8:13 AM
    Melissa Klaskin

    Your system for monitoring fosters sounds fantastic!  In Los Angeles our shelters are so overcrowded (Chesterfield Shelter has 500 dogs!) the city council has recently decided to provide stipends for fosters.  I dont know how they are going to manage such a large program with 6 city shelters and over 1500 dogs.  Can I put you in touch with someone here that is involved with this?  Melissa Klaskin Levy



    ------------------------------
    Melissa Klaskin
    psychologist
    Reducing Animal Stress
    CA
    ------------------------------
      Reply to Discussion   Reply to Discussion via Email   Reply Privately to Author   Reply Privately to Author via Email   View Thread   Like   Forward   Flag as Inappropriate  




     
    You are receiving this message because you followed the 'Tool to Organize Availability in Our Foster Homes' message thread. To unsubscribe from this message thread, go to Unsubscribe.

    Update your email preferences to choose the types of email you receive

    Unsubscribe from all participation emails

    New training course on Maddie's University: Taking the Fear Out of Bottle Feeding & Basic Kitten Care



    Original Message:
    Sent: 5/23/2024 11:13:00 AM
    From: Melissa Klaskin
    Subject: RE: Tool to Organize Availability in Our Foster Homes

    Your system for monitoring fosters sounds fantastic!  In Los Angeles our shelters are so overcrowded (Chesterfield Shelter has 500 dogs!) the city council has recently decided to provide stipends for fosters.  I dont know how they are going to manage such a large program with 6 city shelters and over 1500 dogs.  Can I put you in touch with someone here that is involved with this?  Melissa Klaskin Levy



    ------------------------------
    Melissa Klaskin
    psychologist
    Reducing Animal Stress
    CA
    ------------------------------

    Original Message:
    Sent: 05-22-2024 08:11 AM
    From: Chris Fitzgerald
    Subject: Tool to Organize Availability in Our Foster Homes

    Michelle,
    One solution we implemented at AnimalsFirst to address this was giving the users the ability to set, edit, and monitor availability of foster parents within the profile for each foster parent. You can create custom fields and/or custom tags to quickly identify foster parents with specific characteristics such as "good with bottle babies" or "experienced dog handler." We also have a table that shows exactly how many animals each parent has and how many they are able to have. Another way to monitor capacity among foster homes, is using our Visual Kennel with each home identified as a "kennel" with capacity customized accordingly. Additionally, we provide the ability to create a customizable foster application with an iframe to embed on your website. Our Mobile Foster app enables each foster parent to see the animals in their care. Based on permissions you set, foster parents can view or edit information related to their foster animals. That can include writing bios, adding photos, and linking videos, among other operations. We can also provide an iframe for organizations to display animals available for foster on their website. If you have any questions related to our system, please let me know and we can connect offline.

    Chris
    cfitzgerald@animalsfirst.com 



    ------------------------------
    Chris Fitzgerald
    Chief Product Officer
    AnimalsFirst
    Rochester NY


  • 13.  RE: Tool to Organize Availability in Our Foster Homes

    Posted 27 days ago

    Great to know you are in the loop!  We are drowning here in dogs and something needs to happen quickly to get them safely out of shelters.  Has there been communication about how they are going to build their systems once stipend program is running?



    ------------------------------
    Melissa Klaskin
    psychologist
    Reducing Animal Stress
    CA
    ------------------------------



  • 14.  RE: Tool to Organize Availability in Our Foster Homes

    Posted 27 days ago

    Let's connect offline to discuss further.  I emailed you directly but you can also reach me at cfitzgerald@animalsfirst.com



    ------------------------------
    Chris Fitzgerald
    Chief Product Officer
    AnimalsFirst
    Rochester NY
    ------------------------------