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Michigan Department of Human Services Launches Mobile App

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The Michigan Department of Human Services Thursday announced a mobile application to help partners and advocates across the state better help hard-working Michigan families.

“DHS continues to utilize technology to enhance its efficiency and effectiveness in serving vulnerable children, adults and families,” Director Ismael Ahmed said at the announcement

The application, available for free at the Android Market, will allow DHS partner agencies and advocates to find the closest DHS office, information about applying for food or emergency energy assistance online, and up-to-the minute news about DHS programs and services. It will also be available on the iPhone platform by the end of the month.

Both the private and public sectors are responsible to meet the unprecedented increase in demand for services, said Janet Snyder, Michigan Federation for Children and Families executive director.

“All efforts to better integrate services to children and families are met with great enthusiasm,” she said. “With the unveiling of this important application, DHS is finding yet another way to proactively look to the needs of the child welfare system by increasing the level of coordination of services provided between the public and private sectors, and making it all easily accessible.”

The mobile application will also feature information on how to:
* Report abuse of children or adults.
* Report suspected fraud in DHS programs.
* Become a foster or adoptive parent.
 
The department launched the mobile application now to provide another tool to meet an unprecedented increase in demand for services, Ahmed said.

In FY 2010, DHS employees served nearly three million Michigan residents – roughly 30 percent of the state population – with cash, food, energy, emergency and medical assistance. At the end of the fiscal year, the food assistance, Medicaid and the Supplemental Security Income programs were at historic highs with nearly 2 million people receiving food and medical assistance. The result: DHS field specialists were handling an average of 714 cases compared to 320 cases in FY 2002.

“Despite these tough economic times and the continuous records being set monthly for food assistance and Medicaid recipients, this mobile application will provide an additional resource to ensure the safety net and help those who are truly in need,” Ahmed said.

Jim Crisp agreed that the app will serve as another tool for those who work with clients on a daily basis.

 “We commend DHS for being progressive and taking advantage of this emerging technology so partner agencies and advocates can help hard-working families in need,” said Crisp, the Michigan Community Action Agency Association executive director.

For more information about DHS, please visit www.michigan.gov/dhs.

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