In 1993, the Federal Department of Health and Human Services published regulations for SACWIS (the Statewide Child Welfare Information System) along with enhanced funding for states building a single comprehensive system that supported all child welfare case management activities for title IV-E agencies. While SACWIS did promise to keep all child welfare data in one place for all children in care, it also created some problems for agencies seeking to manage their own child welfare systems when thinking about SACWIS data integration with their own systems. Many agencies have struggled with the requirement of one centralized system responsible for all case management functions and supporting SACWIS at the same time.
The newly proposed changes for CCWIS appear to improve upon most of SACWIS’s undesirable qualities while keeping the benefits that made SACWIS a good idea to begin with. Five Points is excited to support many of the requirements coming out of the new CCWIS proposal requested by our clients seeking to integrate data from their many systems along with CCWIS data.
Here are five key improvements we see coming out of the CCWIS proposal for child welfare agencies:
- Agencies are allowed to implement their own systems to support their child welfare practice; the requirement for a single comprehensive system has been removed
- CCWIS allows agency systems to collect data from external systems
- A two-way data exchange between CCWIS and agency systems is not only allowed, but required, resulting in a combined and accurate set of child welfare data
- State systems would be required to connect to information exchanges as well as connect to other systems such as juvenile court systems, educational systems and Medicaid claim systems
- The number of functional requirements have dropped from 51 for SACWIS to only 14 for CCWIS
Much of the focus around implementing CCWIS appears to be ensuring data quality and accuracy when integrating data from multiple systems. Child Welfare agency database systems should be designed around business functions that increase operational efficiency, not hinder it.
Liz VanAcker, Five Points CEO, sees CCWIS as a great opportunity for Five Points customers and child welfare as a whole. “CCWIS permits agencies to connect their data together for the first time in a way that works the way they like to work. We’re excited at the opportunity to help put our expertise at child welfare system integration to work.”