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FVTC helps to create app aimed at kids endangered by drug use in their home

Published: Mar. 4, 2021 at 4:08 PM CST
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FOX VALLEY, Wis. (WBAY) - Millions of kids find themselves in households where they’re negatively affected by drug use. Fox Valley Tech is working on a smartphone app that will help families find the resources they need.

Scenes of families dealing with drug use in the home being shot at Fox Valley Technical College’s Public Safety Training facility will be seen across the country. The scenarios are part of smartphone app the Tech is helping to create with The National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children.

“Our definition of drug endangered children are any children that are impacted by parent or caregiver illegal or legal substance misuse. So, the purpose of the app is to provide victims with an easy access to resources and services in their own ZIP Code or geographic area,” says Scott Henderson, executive director of The National Alliance for Drug Endangered Children.

The videos being shot are the first of four phases in the development of the app. They are scenes the estimated 9 million kids impacted by drug use might find themselves in -- in their own homes. “This is a way of engaging them and saying if you’re a person in this situation there is hope, there is help available and here’s how easy it is to find them. So, the goal it to provide ease of use, just one or two clicks to get access to the folks that can provide that real help,” adds Henderson.

In addition to providing the space for the videos to be shot, Fox Valley Tech’s Learning Innovations team is working on the technical portion of the app. Software engineers, mobile app developers and media artists are actually creating the technology.

According to Jay Stulo, the director of learning innovations, “The biggest challenge and probably the most important part of the app is that we’re creating a way for a person who is in a particular geographical region to get information based on their location. So, the resources they’re going to find in the app are resources that are in their local city or the state, and there are some challenges in coordinating all of that data to do this on a nationwide basis.”

The first phase of the app will be released to the public by the fall with it fully up and running by September of 2022.

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