Massachusetts Department of Children and Families: A new model for human services

By maximizing the potential of mobile human services technology, MA DCF is enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of its workforce.


DCF employs more than 2,500 social workers. On any given day, these resources work with more than 50,000 Massachusetts children and their families.

DCF’s strategic initiative has helped its social workers use their mobile devices significantly more creatively and collaboratively. Innovation is no longer siloed. Operational and financial support has been institutionalized and strengthened. By implementing an actionable blueprint and roadmap designed to maximize the possibilities of a mobile-enabled workforce, DCF has committed to providing families with timely and efficient access to information and services. The initiative has also put the DCF in the forefront of human services agencies nationally.


DCF’s social workers were not maximizing the benefits of their mobile devices. Creative ideas and best practices were not being shared, and they needed help knowing how best to use the devices with families. Supervisors too needed support in learning how to lead and manage in a mobile environment. DCF chose to work with Accenture on a more strategic approach because of its expertise and experience across government strategy, child welfare and mobility.


The team began by assessing DCF’s existing mobile capabilities and the effectiveness of the initial device roll out. This comprehensive analysis revealed broad social worker and management support for the mobile devices, but wide variations in how (and how comfortably) workers were using them in their work with families. An actionable blueprint specified a future-state governance model that was integrated with DCF’s underlying IT and operational infrastructure. It also defined the capabilities required to develop and maintain the mobile model. A roadmap designed to bring the program to life is now being integrated into agency operations.


DCF’s mobility blueprint and roadmap positions the device deployment as a meaningful component of the agency’s future operating model. It has helped DCF contribute to the responsible stewardship of Commonwealth information and resources. It also positions DCF as a leading human services agency nationally.