State automates child welfare system

State automates child welfare system

By Trudy Walsh

GCN Staff

Wisconsin's Health and Family Services Department is working with American Management Systems Inc. of Fairfax, Va., to develop the Wisconsin Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information System. WSACWIS will streamline and automate child welfare casework in the state.

Caseworkers will share and access child welfare information from a desktop PC, instead of having to thumb through heavy paper files, said Jonathan Light, vice president of AMS. Social workers will spend more time on families. Better data sharing will help caseworkers get accurate family histories, Light said.

AMS began work on the client-server system in March 1999, said Mark Johnson, AMS project manager. WSACWIS code was developed using PowerBuilder Version 6.5.1 from Sybase Inc. Child welfare information is stored in an Oracle8 Release 8.05 database, which is updated daily. Users can also access the data remotely through a server from Citrix Systems Inc. of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

AMS worked with some caseworkers to make modifications to a similar system that AMS had developed for New Mexico.

Soon WSACWIS will go online. Caseworkers will be able to go to a Web site, enter a password and access case data, Johnson said.

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