Michael F. Easley
Governor

The Great Seal of the State of North Carolina Carmen Hooker Odom
Secretary

North Carolina
Department of Health and Human Services

For Release: IMMEDIATE
Date: August 28, 2007

  Contact: Jim Jones

Launch of NCcareLINK speeds access to services

RALEIGH – Finding the right health and human services for yourself, a friend or a loved one took a giant step forward today in North Carolina with the launch of NCcareLINK, a user-friendly Web site that puts thousands of service contacts at the public’s fingertips.

The Internet-based service, www.NCcareLINK.gov, brings together the extensive database of CARE-LINE – the state’s toll-free telephone human resources information and referral service, and additional information from hundreds of other agencies across the state.

“By this time next year, this will be one of the most comprehensive databases for such services in the nation,” said Carmen Hooker Odom, secretary of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.

“At the end of this fiscal year, we estimate that 40,000 government, faith-based, non-profit, and for profit agencies will be in the database. In addition to CARE-LINE, local and other statewide agencies can also access this database to assist citizens who call them.”

The service brings to citizens with Internet access at home or through a computer at a public library or senior center a connection to a database that can help them find information about services available to help meet some of their most challenging dilemmas:

  • What can I do with mother now that she needs more care than I can provide at home?
  • Where can Uncle Bob find the counseling he needs for his substance abuse problem?
  • Where can my neighbor find help winterizing his house?
  • My daughter has lost her job. Who do we contact to see if she qualifies for Food Stamps?
  • It’s time for us to find hospice care for dad. What is available in our community?

These are just some of the hundreds of questions for which NCcareLINK can help provide answers or contacts who have detailed information that they are ready to share.

The project got under way in 2003 and received funding from an Aging and Disability Resources Center grant from the U.S. Administration on Aging and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the state of North Carolina.

In addition to providing citizens day-to-day assistance, the database also helps to ensure that state emergency responders have the capability to meet a variety of human service needs should a disaster strike anywhere in the state.

“We knew we would need a database without duplications that could identify community resources anywhere in the state,” Hooker Odom said.

“From that seed of an idea we now have a product that is a database that not only meets our needs for emergency response, but can also meet the day-to-day needs of our citizens. It can help them find the resources they need within their community and outside their community, but still within reach.”

The NCcareLINK project is a partnership that includes 21 hubs, or collection centers for information incorporated into the database. The hubs include partner agencies which help assure that the database reflects up-to-date services in their communities.

People in need of assistance who are unable to access the Web-based service may still access the CARE-LINE by telephone for assistance at the same toll-free numbers: 1-800-662-7030 (English/Spanish), or 1-877-452-2514 (TTY).

Agencies throughout the state have worked together to make this project a reality. It is the first time in North Carolina that information and referral groups have come together to assure that a database of federal, state and local government agencies, community-based and faith-based organizations, non-profit and for profit groups are in a single directory for the public. With assistance from partners including the Northwest Piedmont Council of Governments, the Cape Fear Council of Governments, the Family Support Network of North Carolina, the Alcohol and Drug Council of North Carolina and the Office of the Governor, NCcareLINK will assure that the public has access to information about these important services.

 

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Public Affairs Office
101 Blair Drive, Raleigh, NC 27603
(919)733-9190
FAX (919)733-7447

Debbie Crane
Director