news The NSW Department of Family & Community Services’ (FACS) ChildStory project has finally reached the deployment phase, despite being announced as far back as September of last year.
“This move takes us one step closer to having ChildStory in the hands of caseworkers, service providers and most importantly children and their families and carers,” ChildStory said in a statement.
Reaching the deployment phase means that after many months of requirements gathering, design, prototyping and procurement, FACS can now finally start building the ChildStory platform.
According to the announcement, the solution will be built in modules – from Intake to Leaving Care – and will see designers, business analysts, subject matter experts and programmers working together in small teams over short periods to build the “pieces” of what will be the final ChildStory platform.
“Working like this means that we can rapidly develop prototypes that we can share with users from across the department and the child protection sector to get feedback and generate better ideas,” said ChildStory, adding that the information can be fed back to its designers and programmers to “improve the finished product in real time”.
The $100-million IT platform is planned to boost child safety in the state, and FACS has made much of involving hundreds of its frontline staff in the process of designing solutions aimed to improve how the department works with children, young people, carers and other partners.
After representations from a number of product vendors, ChildStory opted to use US-based firm Salesforce to provide its off-the-shelf case management and contracting solution.
Squiz, a company that specialises in content management systems, customer experience software and consulting services, was brought on board to boost the data management capabilities of the case management solution.
Information management specialist EYC3 was also signed up to move all of FACS’ legacy information into the new system.
Over recent months, ChildStory continued, the team has worked alongside these “preferred vendors”, developing an implementation planning study that will become its “roadmap” through this phase of the program.
The contributions of its partners – Salesforce, Squiz and EYC3 – have been “exceptional”, it added, and have now formally become partners.