The Home for Little Wanderers
About The Home for Little Wanderers
Based in Boston, Massachusetts, The Home for Little Wanderers is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization that provides a seamless continuum of vital programs and services for every stage of child and family development. For more than 200 years, they have earned a reputation for doing whatever it takes to strengthen vulnerable families and keep children safe in their own communities, even when they don’t have family support. Serving children and youth from birth to 22, The Home makes a positive impact on over 14,000 lives each year through a network of services including behavioral health, therapeutic residential and special education, adoption and foster care. In addition, a number of innovative programs provide specialized assistance to youth.
The Home’s mission is to ensure the healthy behavioral, emotional, social and educational development and physical well-being of children and families living in at-risk circumstances. Primary service areas include individual, group and family therapy; psychological and neuro-psychological testing; medication management; child and family skills development; therapeutic mentoring; birth parent counseling; life skills training; community connection and integration; behavioral stabilization; educational preparation; and social, vocational and daily living supports.
Frank Chiacchieri, the Director of IT for The Home for Little Wanderers, works closely with Logically, the organization’s IT Managed Service Provider. Logically provides strategic input, implementation, and management of technology throughout this venerable social service agency’s operations.
Managing and implementing programs across 15 locations and 500+ users is no easy task. Frank Chiacchieri joined The Home in 2012 with the goal of creating a 5-year strategy for the non-profit’s operations. In fact, Frank was the first IT professional that the Home hired to chart the course for the organization’s IT growth, which at its core, relies on a strong IT foundation. Early on in Frank’s tenure, he put out a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a firm to manage their IT services, and selected Logically based on their aggressive pricing, breadth of services and prior positive experience with the company. At the time, Logically needed to manage all technology requests and deployment and support for a mobile workforce of 150 users with laptop computers, including Verizon Wireless AirCards and Apple iPhones with Shoretel Mobility app. Many of these mobile workers, or “road warriors” as Frank calls them, are clinicians that must function seamlessly whether they are working in a client’s home setting or in the field.
Core to The Home’s successful operations is to have their clinicians have a “touchdown” space that provides enough seating and resources for them to quickly do their reporting, including a strong and secure Wi-Fi connection, and the ability to print and make phone calls. Logically began working with Frank to create a touchdown space on Redfield Street in Boston to accommodate the needs of these important workers. “Prior to working with Logically on this, there was nowhere for our users to go,” says Frank Chiacchieri.
Moving to the Cloud to support the requirements of The Home’s road warriors so that they had “the latest and greatest technology” was a priority for Frank and his organization. This migration was part of Frank’s five year strategic plan to move all applications to the Cloud and get rid of all hardware and associated service onsite. The maintenance and downtime associated with being on premise was simply not practical. Now employees can work from home, or anywhere and access applications 24/7. For example, if an employee wants to look at their payroll, bank account or their 403b statement, they can do so whenever and wherever they are. Moreover, all the administrative logistics and headaches associated with having software on premise have been removed. And there’s no longer any worry about backup servers and disks since everything is electronic and managed by the software providers. The Home has moved four of their five major software applications to the Cloud and, and according to Frank Chiacchieri, “…it’s a much better and more productive environment.”
With the recent additions of a new CEO and CFO, the pace of change has quickened. Four years ago, they moved their headquarters from the Symphony building in downtown Boston to the Brighton neighborhood, and reaped the benefit of substantial lease savings. “I’ve always been able to get funding for technology, which is great”, says Frank Chiacchieri. “The Home realizes how important technology is to our lives.” Logically worked closely with Frank to make the move seamless. “Logically has been a fantastic partner to work with – they believe in us and our mission. I can’t say enough good things about them”, added Frank Chiacchieri.
Despite the success that the Home has had to date, there are certainly some IT challenges that lie ahead: “Security is the number one concern on everyone’s mind,” says Frank Chiacchieri. And he mentioned that when 5G comes out, that will be a “game changer.” The Home has converted to Office 365 and will soon be moving all applications to the cloud. With 325+ laptops, 15 facilities and one under construction, there will continue to be a need for a strong and capable IT partner, and The Home for Little Wanderers has found that in Logically.