There are two major components to the work that Y2CONNECT.org engages in: the management and maintenance of Baltimore’s comprehensive resource guide, and the expansion and implementation of the website in new locations.
Management and Maintenance of Baltimore’s Resource Guide
Regular maintenance of the website is necessary to ensure all information, resources, and programs being shared with youth, families, and professionals are current. Graduate student interns conduct frequent scans of the community for programs on the website that have ended and for new programs that have launched. These student interns are also charged with ensuring each content area on the website for young people and adults has a collection of updated and relevant resources as outdated resources are removed.
Community members, providers, and program managers can submit information about resources, programs, or services to the website via a simple webform.
Website Expansion and Implementation in New Locations
When partnering with a new city or location, Y2CONNECT provides basic training and technical support to the partner site’s staff. Y2CONNECT staff hold meetings to familiarize the new partner site with the structure of the Y2CONNECT.org platform and the steps necessary to customize the core pages to reflect the partner site’s community resources. The Y2CONNECT platform contains a collection of webpages that partner sites can edit and build out for youth, parents/caregivers, and professionals. Partner jurisdictions are then given access to make direct edits to the homepage and each core page of the resource guide to tailor listed resources to their specific locale. They can add additional tags within existing topics or add new topics, listings, resources, programs, and hotlines.
Partner sites’ access to Y2CONNECT training and technical support is not limited to the initial transition period — they have access to Y2CONNECT training sessions as needed for as long as they continue using the platform. Follow-up trainings typically occur when the partner site experiences staff turnover or when logistical questions or concerns arise. Y2CONNECT can also meet with partner site staff to brainstorm ways to maximize website usage, improve performance, and ensure the website has appropriate reach to those who need it.
Y2CONNECT aims to keep the cost of implementing the platform in new communities as low as possible to ensure cost is not a barrier for any school, city, or jurisdiction interested in adopting the platform. The main fee structure associated with implementing the web platform is related to maintaining the technology. Additional fees are associated with supporting ongoing training.