Family First Prevention Services Act

Family First Prevention Services Act

 

Family First Prevention Services Act

Across the nation, child abuse prevention has long been recognized as critical to ensuring safe, stable and nurturing relationships and environments for children and families. To this end, child welfare agencies and lawmakers alike have sought to adopt and/or enact many prevention strategies and programs.  These include the Safe Haven Act, Home Visitation, Nurturing Parenting, Healthy Families, Shaken Baby Syndrome, etc.

In February 2018, President Trump signed into law Family First Prevention Services Act.  This is one of the most long-awaited, sweeping prevention reforms aimed at providing greater front-end supports to families to prevent children from entering foster care. As summarized by the Children’s Defense Fund, some prevention highlights of Family First include:
– Federal investments in prevention for children at risk of foster care;
– Federal funds for evidence-based Kinship Navigator programs that provide additional support for relative caregivers;
– Use of Promoting Safe and Stable Families Program funds for unlimited family; reunification services for children in foster care and an additional 15 months of family reunification services for children once they return home;
– Five-year extension of the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Child Welfare Services Program and the Promoting Safe and Stable Families Program, including the Court Improvement Programs grants; and
– Requirements for states to have statewide plans to track and prevent child maltreatment fatalities.

As with any new law, tracking and measuring compliance will eventually be required as well. Although the Administration for Children and Families has yet to provide such guidance, it is not inconceivable that new data collection and tracking within state systems may be forthcoming. Thus, as many states work to implement the programmatic aspects of this Act, while looking to transform their existing information systems or parts of it to CCWIS, it is important to consider this question:
How flexible are the solution offerings to meet my agency’s needs in an ever-changing environment?

CareDirector can help states with this dilemma. It is a highly configurable solution built on the Microsoft Dynamics platform. It can be easily tailored to meet new business needs and casework practice without requiring coding or a host of outside developers. Thus, data collection and tracking for new laws like Family First or the Human Trafficking Bill is fully supported by CareDirector to ensure adherence to requirements and actionable information is readily available for decision making.
If you’d like to learn more about the Family First Prevention Services Act and Better CCWIS solution from CareDirector then contact us here

BETTER CONNECTIVITY THROUGH INTEROPERABILITY

Systems of care, multi-disciplinary teams, family response assessments: significant undertakings within child welfare, are all woven together with a consistent, unifying thread. They are models of child welfare practice that seek to gain a complete view of a child, youth and his/her family. This guides decision making and better outcomes. Another vital way such practices have been enhanced is through data sharing or exchanges across multiple disparate computer systems from a range of human service organizations, i.e. interoperability.

Not long ago, the 2016 CCWIS ruling bolstered this by requiring the bi-directional exchange of relevant data across child-serving agencies such as education, courts, behavioral health, etc.  This heralded the tremendous benefits of interoperability to the health and human service community.

CareDirector is the only child welfare information system in the world to be deployed on the Microsoft Dynamics platform.  It fully supports compliance to CCWIS’ interoperability rules. Technically, our solution has what is needed to provide states with the capability to meet and exceed the requirement. It enables agencies to improve efficiency, saves them time and effort; thereby resulting in higher cost savings. Beyond that, as a child welfare software provider with 20 + years of experience, we fully understand that interoperability is not simply about pieces of data flowing from one system to another. It is about deeper, better connectivity into the client’s world, so caseworkers can develop holistic case/service plans that fully support the needs of the child, youth or family. Yes, the cliched phrase is quite true: it breaks down silos within and across agencies. Yet, it is much more.

With over 20 years singly focused expertise in child welfare, CareDirector’s interoperable capability breaks down silos between workers and families. With timely data at their fingertips from various systems that inform them about the family and their participation across systems, less time is spent searching for information. Instead, more time is now spent understanding the readily available, comprehensive information to make better decisions that impact outcomes for families, youth and children.

Dr. Ann Knefel

Child Welfare Specialist

CCWIS Solution

The Better CCWIS Solution at the HHS Summit

CCWIS Solution

Take A Closer Look at The Better CCWIS Solution

CareDirector accelerates CCWIS development and delivery of functional value to users, while at the same time lowering risk.

Deploying CCWIS with CareDirector as a human services platform accelerator to Dynamics is a more economical, efficient and effective technology than alternatives such as a pure development approach.

See the better CCWIS Solution for yourself at the upcoming HHS Summit May 20th-22nd in Arlington

See more about our Child Welfare Solution here

 

CareDirector Connect Webinar: Mobile Functionality

CareDirector recently held a 30-minute webinar of CareDirector Connect, a modular mobile solution that can empower case workers to access and collect data in the field, directly from the source which improves overall data quality.

This online tour will review mobile functionality including:

  • Managing appointments and alerts
  • Access to offline and online information of household
  • Taking and listening to notes using voice to text
  • Collecting e-signatures

The webinar was a huge success and we would like to thank the many interested people who took the time to join us and find out more about CareDirector Connect.

If you would like to view the webinar recording please email [email protected]

revenue cycle management

5 Lessons for developing a mobile workforce

Over the past five years or so, mobile capability has become an important consideration by health and human service agencies to enable their workers to function more efficiently while in the field. For caseworkers, their office is essentially everywhere so they need to be able to access vital information anywhere, any time. CareDirector Connect is a secure, native mobile case management solution that can help an agency’s workforce become mobile. It allows workers to spend less time on paperwork and more time with children, youth and families.

However, before transitioning to a mobile workforce, it is important consider the following:

  1. Keep employees informed.  Agencies must develop a mobile implementation strategy outlining how they are going to improve the agency’s workflow, efficiency and outcomes, and share this with all employees to reduce resistance to the new approach.
  2. Align your policies to the new workflow strategy. Agencies must review and address any issues related to human resources policy and practice guidelines to fully maximize the benefit of the mobile devices and ensure that utilization by workers complies with federal, state and local regulations.
  3. Ensure your infrastructure and mobile devices complement each other. Hardware and software investments must evolve alongside mobile device implementation. Developers need to think about how caseworkers access and use information on the go and that the mobile devices will be used to facilitate service provision.
  4. Utilize other departments. Mobility can be a priority for different departments at various levels of government. Look outside the agency for support. State-level information technology systems and human resource agencies can assist with procurement, security, application development, human resources policy development and other operational needs.
  5. Listen to your caseworkers. The people that will be using the mobile devices know best what is needed, so listen to your caseworkers about what they need from the beginning of your mobility strategy. This will save agencies a lot of time and money.

Read the full article here.

With our mobile solution, CareDirector Connect, case workers can work online and offline, to prepare for client visits, conduct investigations in the field, and complete case notes, assessments and forms. Our app easily integrates with an agency’s existing health and human service system or it can be part of an entirely new technology modernization initiative as agencies replace old systems with CareDirector’s comprehensive platform. To find out more about the CareDirector mobile solution, please register here for a tour here.

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.

Read the full article here.

 

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.

 

Read the full article here.

 

Artificial Intelligence taking China by storm

Artificial intelligence (AI) seems poised to transform healthcare all over the world, especially in China. Developing the systems that power artificial intelligence requires correlating thousands of variables spanning patient medical data and then developing software that can identify related trends among these variables and predict medical outcomes. In China, this poses a challenge: there’s a shortage of easily accessible healthcare data, because online and electronic health record systems are scarce.

Some Chinese entrepreneurs seen opportunity within the market. Jun Wang, founder of the biotech company iCarbonX, is developing an AI-influenced consumer app that will provide customised health and medical advice based on a customer’s DNA, health habits and environment. Wang has established an alliance with healthcare data companies from around the world to provide expertise in mining medical and biological data. By integrating their different platforms, iCarbonX envisions being able to aggregate and analyse patient healthcare information quickly and cheaply.

The voice-tech company iFlytek, will be further developing their technology to comprehend and think about speech in addition to its current capabilities of listening and speaking — features that could be incorporated into mHealth applications or used by healthcare providers who cannot directly communicate with their patients.

Another technology platform, Ningbo Cloud Hospital, is using cloud computing to create a virtual hospital for the Chinese port city of Ningbo. Its services include collecting and analysing data for hospitals, pharmacies and insurance companies, and providing health education and diagnostic services for remote clients.

Ultimately, though, these companies will be competing for global AI market share with large established companies such as Google and Apple. Legal experts note that regulatory bodies will need to evaluate AI technologies to ensure the systems are secure and accurate, and work out the liability issues that may arise when AI systems cause problems or make mistakes.

Read more about China’s use of artificial intelligence here.

How Chile’s IT architecture is transforming its healthcare

Not long ago, more than 1,000 remote medical facilities in Chile lacked connectivity and many of its healthcare systems could not easily interoperate. To change this, Soledad Munoz Lopez, the CIO of Chile’s Ministry of Health (MINSAL), developed a new approach to IT architecture.

Ms. Lopez implemented an API-based architecture. The API architecture dovetails into a variety of MINSAL’s healthcare efforts, including a national program to connect unconnected healthcare centers; a plan to digitize all clinic and administrative processes, both for major hospitals and local clinics and primary care centers; strategies to better leverage data and connectivity for public alerts, population health management programs, and the Public Health Surveillance initiatives required for planning and execution of public health policy; and the use of new secure national identity and biometrics services.

One of the primary areas of concern addressed by the new digital architecture is integration. The API-first approach abstracts any back-end complexity into predictable, consistent interfaces that allow developers to quickly and efficiently connect data, services, and apps across the nationwide system. Resulting in a more seamless experience for doctors and patients and a secure but agile infrastructure for MINSAL. Ms. Lopez explains that all of these connectivity efforts help enable important new services and exciting innovations that benefit Chilean citizens, including telemedicine. The API platform helps professionals in the entire network of healthcare systems in Chile access patient information throughout the care cycle, reducing costs through shared information, eliminated delays, and reduced duplication of medical tests. The platform also provides information to apps and websites used by patients, allowing them to see and gradually empower themselves with their own health data.

MINSAL has introduced hackathons, which are designed to encourage software developers, start-ups, and other institutions to take the capabilities of MINSAL APIs in innovative new directions and combine them with APIs from other government agencies and services providers. The result should be new apps and services that combine healthcare data in novel ways. MINSAL leaders are eager to integrate awareness about wellness and nutritional information into citizens’ daily routines, a goal that third-party apps are better equipped to fulfil than print and other traditional approaches.

Already a leader in Latin American healthcare, Chile is now poised, with its API-based architecture and detailed vision for rapid improvement, to maintain its excellence and provide a model for using technology to improve the lives of millions or people.

Read the full story on how Chile’s IT architecture is transforming its healthcare here.

Torfaen Young Carers Service gets support from CareDirector Birthday Fund

2017 is a special year for CareDirector. On February 26th, we celebrated our 20th year in business and to help celebrate our 20 years we have created a special birthday fund of $20,000.

We are now delighted to announce the first recipient of funding from our birthday fund; Torfaen Young Carers Service

Torfaen Young Carers Service is a support system for people under 18 who have become a carer at an early age. The service works with children, youth and their families to give the young carers support and a short break by engaging in social, age appropriate and leisurely activities. The support really makes a difference to the young carers by having the opportunity to meet up with other young carers and take part in fun, confidence building activities, illustrated by some of their comments below.

 

      “I get to do things I                      “Torfaen Young Carers

would never normally do”                   helped me to relax”

 

              

 

“The services gives me           “It has helped me make friends,

               a break”                          and build my confidence”

 

                  

 

One of the things the young carers look forward to is their annual trip to the Young Carers Camping Weekend in Southampton run by the YMCA. Torfaen Young Carers Service recently lost the funding they used to provide this trip to the young carers and their families. They were faced with an impossible decision; Either cancel the annual trip or ask the families to pay themselves.

Luckily, CareDirector happened to be searching for a good cause to invest part of its birthday fund in and will be making a lot of young carers happy by funding the next young carers camping trip.

If you have a worthy cause you would like to nominate for our birthday fund and make a difference to people’s lives, nominate the cause here.