Case workers want mobile technology

Despite overwhelming availability of modern mobile technology in one’s private life, professionally, most child welfare workers do not have access to basic case and client information in the field. This continues to affect their ability to effectively serve children, youth and families while keeping up with the burden of case documentation. In recent years, workforce mobility has become an increasing priority for child welfare agencies. At CareDirector, we listen to our customers and offer a secure, native mobile case management solution called CareDirector Connect that enables case workers to spend less time on paper work and more time with children, youth and families.

Implementing CareDirector Connect can also improve child welfare service provision and delivery, while making caseworkers’ jobs easier. Here are some key benefits of our mobile solution.

Reduce time spent on paperwork

Locating paper files and re-keying information upon returning to the office can consume up to 30% of a caseworker’s day, causing frustration and reducing efficiency in addition to reducing the amount of time case workers have available to spend with children, youth and families. CareDirector Connect mobile app would address this problem.

Provide real-time accessibility to information in the field

Despite carrying paper files and documents into the field, case workers often find that they may still lack the necessary forms or information. This contributes to creating inefficiencies and generally, inhibits caseworkers from managing their time effectively. With CareDirector Connect, case workers can bring all case and client information with them into the field anywhere, anytime, both online and offline.

Spend more time with families and children

Child welfare caseloads are increasing, but the number of case workers is not. This leads to less time available for each case, and places a heavy burden on agencies and workers, putting families in crisis at even higher risk. CareDirector Connect can help save case workers time, enabling them to spend more time with each case and achieve better outcomes for children, youth and families.

Eliminate worker burnout

Due to high caseload and rising pressures for documentation, child welfare caseworkers are at high risk of burnout and low job satisfaction. This, while stressful for caseworkers, also places a tremendous burden on agencies and the people they serve. CareDirector Connect, with its built-in workflows, helps make information more accessible and reduces worker stress to create a more enjoyable, rewarding job environment.

Collect accurate data and maintain data quality

Current data collection processes and systems often do not align with how caseworkers actually work. As a result, caseworkers find themselves asking clients to repeat information, which can negatively impact productivity. CareDirector Connect enables forms to be configured to match agency needs and business practice. It stores information all in the one place so case workers can easily locate any information they need.

Through our relationships with customers, CareDirector has seen first-hand that mobile technology designed by and for caseworkers can enhance the quality and efficiency of services provided. Ultimately, we provide a flexible, proven solution that helps caseworkers spend more time with children, youth and families. To find out more about CareDirector’s mobile solutions, click here.

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5 lessons for implementing predictive analytics in child welfare

In child welfare, one problem is the accurate identification of children at risk of maltreatment, work that requires a gauge of not only immediate risk, but also the future likelihood of harm. Predictive risk modeling (PRM) offers new and exciting chances to solve entrenched problems like this. PRM enables child welfare staff to identify earlier those individuals who are at long-arc risk of adverse outcomes and help them avoid the adverse event.

Rhema Vaithianathan, Co-Director of the Centre for Social Data Analytics at Auckland University of Technology, shares five lessons she has learned about implementing PRM.

Fully Integrated Data is Not Necessary

An accurate and useful predictive model can be built without fully integrated data, as long as we can access a comprehensive, state-level child welfare data set with sufficient historical information, we can build an adequate predictive model.

Frontline Practice and Priorities Must Lead

Not all possible uses of PRM will be ethical or desirable. Each model is built for a specific use and for a specific jurisdiction, and will be validated accordingly. So before embarking on building a PRM, it is important for the leadership of the county or state to set parameters on how it will be used. Established practice can run deeper than an agency is aware, so rather than looking for high levels of change in frontline practice within a short time frame, we should look for a trend of continuous change in the right direction.

Ethics and Transparency are Never “Done”

Ethical governance needs to be built into the agency for the lifetime of the tool; regular ethical reviews are essential for the maintenance of community support.  As the project continues, transparency should also be revisited often to make sure that the tool is understandable to the community, agency and frontline workers. If it is not transparent, it is hard to gain necessary trust and support.

Expect Methodology to Evolve

A natural evolution of methodology should be expected and encouraged up to and after the implementation of a model. Looking carefully at the performance and usefulness of the model as it takes shape should cause a regular review of the choice of methodology.

Independent Evaluation Sharpens the Focus

The fact that a predictive model will be independently evaluated helps to build trust and support for the project. Committing to an independent evaluation also forces researchers and the agency to be clear about what the tool is setting out to achieve from the start, creating an agreed-upon measure of success.

 

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