Accenture teamed with the Georgia Department of Human Resources and the Division of Family and Children Services to develop a robust, Web-based case management application that helps the agency and its caseworkers enhance service delivery to children and families throughout the state.
The new child welfare application replaces time-consuming paperwork and repetitive data entry to help the agency move toward high performance with better quality of data. The results include better outcomes for children, greater effectiveness for staff and improved accountability to community stakeholders.
DFCS case managers spend a considerable amount of time in the field visiting clients as well as attending court and medical appointments, which results in the collection of large amounts of information. For years, case managers have been serving children and families using a number of legacy systems and paper records. These practices often resulted in inefficiencies such as duplicate data entry, conflicting data and the need to wait for hard copies of case files to arrive via mail or fax. The dependency on a paper-intensive system also meant a greater administrative burden for case managers and hampered information sharing across county offices and between agencies.
Georgia recognized that it needed to move toward high performance by developing a statewide, automated child welfare system that would serve as a comprehensive case management tool for the agency’s more than 3,700 users.
In 2007, Accenture and the state launched Georgia SHINES, a Web-based statewide automated child welfare information system designed to integrate child welfare case management information into one system allowing case workers to more effectively manage, track and share case information. Accenture was responsible for the design, development and implementation of the new system, serving as primary contractor and collaborating with a host of vendors.
While the state of Georgia had faced many challenges in the past trying to implement a statewide system, the team was able to implement the system in under 20 months. The effort included bringing together system functionality from multiple county-based systems into a single statewide system.
Working together with county leadership, the Accenture team implemented a system that provided system-compliant functionality, standard statewide processes and customizable workflows that met state and county needs. The new system also provided case managers with remote access to case files, reducing the need to complete tasks in the office.
In September 2007, Georgia SHINES went live in Douglas County, a suburb of Atlanta. In June 2008, SHINES was fully implemented throughout the state. Through the SHINES system, DFCS is better equipped to monitor children under state supervision, establishing a stronger foundation for improved child welfare outcomes. Benefits include better outcomes for children, greater effectiveness for case managers and improved accountability to children and community partners.