news The NSW Department of Family & Community Services’ ChildStory project has announced the winning vendors for a $100-million IT platform that is aimed to boost child safety in the state.
Over the last year, the FACS said in a blog post and video presentation, hundreds of its frontline staff have been involved in a process that sought to “design and describe” solutions that will bring improvements in how the team works with children, young people, carers and other partners.
After representations from a number of product vendors, ChildStory opted to use Salesforce to provide its case management and contracting solution, which also includes ways to collaborate with families and other partners.
US-based Salesforce provides a platform with an interface for case and task management, a system for automatically routing and escalating important events and other tools.
Michael Coutts-Trotter, Secretary of the FACS, said: “[Front-line staff] are convinced Salesforce is the right answer, and will save them time, and will enable them to get out and have and hold intimate relationships with the children we serve.
“You know from the name that Salesforce didn’t begin its life in social services, but its a global firm with incredible resources, vast experience and it is now starting to acquire experience in service delivery in South Australia, Victoria and elsewhere in the world.
“I think the fundamental here is, no selection of technologies, no matter how brilliant they are, can change practice. The system can enable that and that is vitally important, but it can’t create great practice without the leadership and participation of the people in the field.”
Because searching for data is such an important part of the FACS team’s workload, the case management solution will include technologies from Squiz – a multinational company that provides digital engagement software. It specialises in content management systems, customer experience software and consulting services.
Additionally, to enhance access to all the information regarding families the department deals with, ChildStory said it will be working with information management specialist EYC3 to move all its current information into the new system.
Over the next few months, ChildStory plans to work with its lead sites to develop implementation plans and a more detailed design of the solution.
The ChildStory team aims to have visited every district in the state by April 2016, in order to gauge responses to the new solutions and acquire feedback.
ChildStory is part of a wider $500 million reform programme called Safe Home for Life, a state-wide initiative planned to overhaul child protection.
The Safe Home for Life child protection legislative reforms are the “first step towards a less legalistic, process-driven child protection system in NSW that places children and their families at the centre of decision making”, according to the FACS.
The reforms are aimed to create a better future for children at risk of significant harm by focusing on three key areas:
- Building parenting capacity and increasing parental responsibility
- Providing greater permanency for children and young people in care
- Delivering a modern, responsive and child-focused system.
Image credit: Darren Jacklin Photography (Salesforce.com)