Lucas County Children Services uses virtual reality technology to help train caseworkers

Published: Jul. 14, 2023 at 6:32 AM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - State and local government agencies are starting to take notice of the potential benefits of the metaverse. Here in Toledo, Lucas County Children’s Services is taking advantage of virtual reality technology to help train caseworkers.

Director of training, Melonny King, says simulating real-life situations for people looking to take on a difficult career like child welfare, is important.

She says it helps people understand what they’re getting themselves into.

King says the scenarios currently available through the virtual reality goggles are so life-like, she’s seen a few people leave the field after using the goggles because they realized the job wasn’t for them.

“You actually are looking around, you see the house, maybe there’s some clutter, maybe not, you may hear children crying, and then it gives you the opportunity, you’re asking questions, and they’re talking back with you during the interview,” said King. “If I would of saw this coming in as a new worker, it really would have prepared me, like oh my goodness. Very, very accurate.”

As for paying for these thousand-dollar headsets, King says the state gifted LCCS two, but the agency was responsible for the rest.

LCCS is expecting about ten more headsets soon, all with brand-new, updated scenarios.

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