Transitioning to CCWIS: More Mobile Moments
by Abe Lee
With the Comprehensive Child Welfare Information System (CCWIS) transition deadline fast approaching on August 1, 2018, the good news is that agencies do not need to finish the transition by that date to be a CCWIS. There’s still time to obtain the 50% federal financial participation (FFP), which is a key purpose of the rule. Another key purpose of the rule is to drive innovation, and agencies can still achieve this goal if they act fast and pursue the right solution.
CCWIS removes the requirement for states to procure and build a single comprehensive system and allows for the use of improved technology to better support current child welfare practice. In other words, CCWIS codifies what has always been the desire and mantra of all child welfare organizations—to provide tech that supports practice, not have practice modified because of tech. One such tech is the right mobile solution.
Moving Away from the Monoliths…
The Administration of Children and Families, with CCWIS, is following the same trend of all other human services agencies in the US. It is moving away from monolithic IT systems and moving towards an agile and modular approach to system development. CCWIS provides the flexibility to identify technology solutions that support workers. Whether this includes mobile apps that integrate with the state's system of record or digital tools that can record audio and script at the same time, the emphasis is now on providing technology that will allow workers to do their jobs efficiently and effectively.
And Moving Towards the Modular…
CCWIS promotes a "data maintenance" (versus “data capture”) model. In other words, data doesn't have to be captured and entered directly into the system of record. It can now be accessed and entered via other systems of engagement (e.g. a mobile solution being used by a private contract agency). Organizations have the flexibility to implement a solution that provides a better system of engagement for their workers or clients. Agencies can use tools that leverage mobile moments for workers in the field to expedite the capture of important moments—while in the moment.
By Moving with Mobile
Mobile devices continue to grow in their dominance of the human experience, transforming expectations for everyone in everything. Access to relevant information to provide context and support in the field via a mobile device is becoming a necessity versus a nicety. Mobile devices are not intended to drive best practice. But mobile devices with the right mobile solution can inform and transform how evidence-based, best practice will be achieved using innovative technologies to support children in need.
Watch this 2-minute video on Arizona Department of Child Safety’s mobile solution
Making Mobile Moments Count
How does one identify the right mobile solution? It starts by identifying workers’ mobile moments, such as:
- “I need to access the “Consent for Release” form and have my client sign it.”
- “During my next visit, I need to remind myself that we talked about the child’s tendency to withdraw the last time we met.”
- “I need to take a picture of the child’s house, but I don’t want to keep the photo on my phone."
Mobile moments like these help clarify the requirements needed for selecting the optimal mobile solution—one that will provide workers the tools they need to do their job effectively, efficiently and (possibly) enjoyably.
Watch this 2-minute video on North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services’ mobile solution
Consideration of mobile moments in the field while conducting an assessment, evaluating the safety of a child or simply documenting interactions with others involved in the well-being of a child in care will quickly identify opportunities to implement mobility solutions that can enhance the quality of service delivery. The right mobile solution can provide very concrete and practical solutions... solutions that will help agencies leverage the flexibility CCWIS provides by using the new standards and exchanges to improve data quality and promote the safety and well-being of children.