Smart Card Technology Program Receives $2M Omnibus Appropriation

Tuesday 3 February 2004 16:24 CET | News

As part of the $873 billion Omnibus Bill passed recently by the Senate, California-based The Community College Foundation received a $2 million appropriation to implement its ePassport Smart Card technology to assist in the management of foster youth programs throughout the state of Ohio.

The funding award is the result of a two-year effort by The Community College Foundation and Ohio U.S. Representative Ralph Regula, (R-Navarre). With more than a half million foster youth currently in the United States child welfare system, Ohios foster youth population of approximately 21,000 youth ranks eighth nationally, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Implementation of the Foundations ePassport Smart Card technology will allow Ohio state agencies to effectively collect, track and maintain foster youth information such as health records, school admissions activity and grade history, and vital statistics. The ePassport Smart Card system provides a much needed and long-overdue solution to perhaps one of the largest challenges facing foster youth. It is estimated that more than a third of foster youth will move between care givers at least 3 times annually, and not uncommonly, upwards of 30 times during their term in the foster care system. In many cases, a child is sent off with little more than a grocery bag of personal effects. ePassports Smart Card technology is a comprehensive and confidential information tracking system using patented technology. Similar to a credit card in size and material, Smart Cards are embedded with an encrypted computer chip that stores and transacts real-time data in a portable, secure password-protected format. The stored data is accessible and easily shared between state, county and local social service agencies using the proprietary technology and the Internet. Program partners for the ePassport system include schools, hospitals, physicians, group homes and government agencies. In addition to easing the plight of foster youth, ePassport Smart Cards are empowering youth to better manage their own personal information by giving them physical possession of their information. The ePassport Smart Card is also the only technology solution that permits youth to leave the foster care system with their personal records in hand. Beyond tethering personal records with foster youth, ePassport is also deploying its technology to the benefit of businesses and educational institutions to track time and attendance, facility access, and financial management. Other related ePassport applications include tracking foreign national students through communication with law enforcement agencies and college data collection systems.

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