Angels Foster creates better outcomes for kids

Less time spent on IT, more on care

Angels Foster
Angels foster logo





Project documentation library
Field operations management
Contract management


Box Consulting
Box Relay
Box Shield
Box Sign
Box Sync


employee growth since adopting Box


ROI with Box Consulting alone


more time spent with families and children

4 icon problem 2
  • Security of personal information is paramount for a nonprofit managing the sensitive PII of minors, and paper files put content at risk
  • Contract-signing is an everyday task at the nonprofit, but giant folders of paperwork made the process tedious
  • Like most nonprofits, especially very small ones, Angels doesn’t have a huge IT budget
4 icon solution 0
  • Box, and in particular Box Shield, helps keep PII confidential and protected
  • Box Sign speeds along the contract-signing process as well as other signature-based workflows
  • Using Box Consulting to better organize content has yielded a tenfold ROI, and Box saves valuable time better spent focused on foster children

The smallest teams can make the biggest impact

Perhaps your team is very small — so small that you can’t wrap your mind around why you’d need cloud content management. But then a pivotal team member has to go home to tend to a sick child, and suddenly, the project shuts down.

This was the setup at Angels Foster Family Network when Jeff Wiemann came on board as Executive Director over a decade ago. The team, which works to place foster children in safe, loving homes throughout San Diego County,  consisted of eight people accessing files from a server in the back room. There was no such thing as external access to files, never mind backups.

Wiemann came from an engineering background, and brought a lot of critical technology skills to the nonprofit. Changing the on-prem paradigm was a big priority. “I have always been very IT inclined,” he told Box, “and was already aware of Box. I left the office that night and started to copy all of our files over to Box. I didn’t re-organize anything; I just put it there.”

This file migration on Box was just the beginning of Angels’ journey with the Content Cloud.

Refocusing time where it matters the very most

“We’re in this really crazy business — foster care — which doesn't have a lot of technology available,” says Wiemann. “Box seemed to sit right, as far as a solution to start out with, so that’s why I just made the decision and went with it.”

With a lot of kids at risk in the foster care system, and a perpetual lack of available foster families, nonprofits like Angels Foster Family Network have to run their business in a lean, focused way to make the most of their resources. There’s a higher demand for foster care than a small agency could possibly handle, so the team’s time is best spent finding more families and recruiting and preparing them for foster care. Any technology that streamlines work means more time spent focused on the kids, the families, and the outreach needed to serve both.

Using the Content Cloud enabled Angels Foster to shave off what Wiemann calls a “paperwork nightmare” and save the staff and social workers valuable time. Now, they spend roughly 33% more time with families and children, instead of tied up in paperwork.

Easily a 10x ROI from the investment in Box

At a basic level, Box enabled Angels to create a folder structure in the cloud so that each case has its own folder with specific permissions. Now, caseworkers, foster families, and others invested in a case only have access to what they need, and they can find it easily without having to wade through volumes of data.

Along the way, Wiemann worked closely with Box Consulting to finesse the structure, which is both practical and secure. As he says: “When we have a new foster family, or client staff gets assigned or unassigned by the admin features in Box, people only have access to what they need. It simplifies searches — and everything else.”

Now, he says, “Box is at the core of our infrastructure. Every file we have touches Box at some point.” And perhaps more importantly to a very small nonprofit, the return on investment for Box as been huge — “easily 10x ROI,” Wiemann  confirms.

Streamlined, economical contract signing with Box Sign

For Angels’ staff, the use of Box has gone way beyond simple content storage and collaboration. Box makes everyday processes so much easier.

When a new child enters the system, the norm used to be that caseworkers and staff would spend a half hour flipping through a three-ring binder — signing , scanning, uploading, filing, and sharing forms. Now, with modernized e-signature workflows, forms are signed quickly, so the initial meeting can be focused on the needs of the child and the foster family, who receive copies of the signed forms by email. Box Sign has been a fundamental part of this shift.

E-signature is also important to internal processes, such as vacation sign-offs and other sorts of accounting paperwork. Across the board, signature processes have sped up in the cloud. “Plus,” Wiemann says, “we don’t have to pay anything extra for it, because it’s already included, and that’s a beautiful thing.”

Simplifying administration for foster families

Box also enables foster parents to share important information on the children in their care with a mobile device. Say a foster parent brings a child to a doctor’s appointment. They can take a quick snapshot of a doctor’s document and upload it to the Content Cloud via Box Capture. Box Relay then kicks in to automatically notify the child’s case manager there’s new information to review and file.

This is a big shift that provides a lot more than mere convenience for foster parents and case managers. Box Capture provides security in a way that physical three-ring binders could not, plus ease of use that other document-scanning tools failed to do. Wiemann says, “It just saves time so caseworkers and employees can focus their energy and expertise on supporting the kids and families instead of on administrative tasks.”

To underline this point, he recalls how, in the days of paper files, one foster parent accidentally drove away from a doctor visit with the child’s three-ring-binder on top of the car, literally scattering their personal information across the freeway. That can’t happen in Box.

Personal information secured in the Content Cloud

For a nonprofit like Angels Foster Family Network that handles cases, especially when those cases involve children, keeping information safe is a paramount concern. Wiemann says, “With the volume of information that we hold on families who foster, plus the kids who we care for, we know everything. There’s a lot of movement of files between our systems, and what we love about Box is that it’s secure.”

The sort of personal information Angels Foster Family Network handles includes:

  • Foster child birth dates
  • Names of family members and other people involved in the case
  • Records of childhood incidents

As Wiemann says, it’s sort of like a “full intelligence dossier on everyone, which is why  it’s so important that when Box Shield came up, I put that in place, too, so nothing can leak from the organization.”

It’s all safe in the Content Cloud. Even if an employee or foster parent’s laptop or device is stolen, the thief cannot access the files. All information in the Content Cloud is encrypted, preventing a breach in data security. Losing a device doesn’t mean lost files. Users simply log into their Box account on a different device, using two-factor authentication.

The same goes for malware. If an employee’s laptop becomes infected from a bad link, the IT team is able to recover everything it needs from version control a la Box Drive.

More time for the kids, less time in IT

Personal information is more secure, and casework is facilitated with files, a folder structure, and automated workflows in the Content Cloud. Wiemann says Box created “huge time savings” but also notes the positive effect Box has had on morale. Staff burnout is a huge risk in the foster-care arena, and taking away the IT frustrations of content reduces the stress.

Most importantly, Wiemann says, “Our focus as an agency is spending time with our kids, and the families caring for those kids, and any minute that we save on administrative tasks gives us an extra minute we can spend with the kids.”

Angels Foster has doubled in size since adopting Box. Now, the nonprofit has 16 staff and a 3-million-dollar budget. “We’re still a small nonprofit,” Wiemann concludes,  “but we have to protect ourselves, and that’s what Box gives us the ability to do.”

The top three things Angels Foster Family Network loves about Box, according to Wiemann:

  1. Security: “Number one, given that the information we hold is so important.”
  2. Ease of use: “Not just tech people, but anybody can use it.”
  3. Box keeps growing and expanding and adding features: “As we evolve, Box is there every step of the way.”

Box is securing our organization’s most critical content. What used to be a paperwork nightmare is now all done behind the scenes in Box, allowing our staff and social workers to spend 33% more time with families and children in care.

Jeff Wiemann, Executive Director, Angels Foster

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