From Trauma to Technology: The District of Columbia's Journey to an Integrated Case Planning Process
Thank you and welcome, to the child welfare information, technology. Systems, managers, and staff webinar, series brought. To you on behalf of the Health and Human Services Administration. For Children and Families Children's, Bureau. And presented by, ICF international. Today's. Webinar, is entitled modernizing. Your cwis. Child welfare information system, without. Losing your sanity, I am, Joyce Rose your host and, moderator for, today's webinar next. For. New attendees, and for those who may have missed previous webinars, here, is the list of the previously, recorded webinars, which are posted to the link identified, on the slide and we, are currently working on developing future. Webinar, topics next. Attendees. Are encouraged. To participate in, our webinar with, questions and, comments all. Of the participant, lines are muted now but we will open them for the Q&A session at the end of the presentation. However. Please be aware that you can submit questions at, any time using the GoToWebinar. Chat feature, and those, will be addressed during the Q&A session. Should. We run out of time we will respond, to your questions via email and/or, should you have additional questions, you may submit those to me that, the email address will fit on the slide, also. If you have any topics, that you would like to recommend as, potential, webinars please. Do not hesitate. To contact me at the email listed above, Joyce. At KS s comm. Next. The. Division, of State systems within. The Children's Bureau, continues, to provide a series of monthly webinars supporting, information sharing, and, discussion certainly. Understanding. Who is attending the webinars helps to identify content, that. Is applicable for everyone participating, in an agency's, cwis. Efforts. Please. Self-select. One of the five categories listed. And now my colleague, Kristy will, conduct the poll. Kristy. How are we doing for. About 85%, we'll, get one more minute one more second, perfect. Okay we, have. An. Excellent. Split. Of attendees. Between, our. Project, managers, and our. Policy, and technical staff and of course we have our. ACF. Personnel. Or contractor, staff and I'm very pleased to see that we also have some, of our tribal GWS, program. Policy, or technical staff, attending. So, thank, you so very much and, let's. Move on and, let's. Start with the. Introduction, of our participants. We, are very pleased to have a cast, from, the District, of Columbia, do, our presentation. Today, brady, birdsong, is the chief information officer. For the District of Columbia's, Child and Family Services Agency. And his passion, is to deliver the highest quality child. Welfare technology. Solutions, that, will improve outcomes. For Children and Families, Lauri. Peterson oversees. The production of, data that measure the, agency's, performance in relation to internal. As well as various, federal reporting, requirements and, plans, she. Most recently led the successful implementation, of. The cloud-based data. Dashboard, solution, which, allows program, staff to visualize.
And Then, manipulate, data to meet, their needs, Center. Wilder's serves as a supervisor, of the DC child and family. Services applications. Team, and. Is responsible. For coordinating, testing. And deploying all enhancements. To, the district's child welfare information system, as. An. IT manager Eldon, Harmon oversees, the development implementation and, support, of M phases, and the, foster, DC Kids mobile, application, as well as managing, various. Other innovative. Initiatives. The agency, is working on, so. Let's invite our, our. Guests. From the District of Columbia, to actually, do our presentation, and I'm going to turn it over to mr. Brady Bernthal. Thank. You Joyce and good, afternoon everyone, and I, suppose, if there's anybody on the west coast it's still good morning, so. First. I really. Grateful. That we were asked, to share. What. We've been doing in the district, so. The the objective of the webinar is, to share the district of columbia's journey to modernizing. Our mature sack whist and give hope to other states considering, making changes, to an existing system. The. Title. Doing this without losing your sanity was a little, bit of an inside, joke because I'm not, sure that anybody on our staff actually, thought that out we. Stayed saying throughout the whole process because there was a lot going on but. It's also meant to say you know I think when you're making modernization. Efforts, you don't have to go crazy and, do, massive. Amounts of ripping and replacing. And, at. Least for the district we were in a place where we didn't have we weren't faced with the issue of having to replace a. Legacy. System or mature, system. Or. Trying. To replace the system so. Actually this is the, district's, journey which. We were able to embark on and mostly. Complete, really, do this from unique, and specific circumstances. That. We were facing, and. I'll discuss the specifics, later on but. We were also, addressing. Existing, business, problems, with the modernization efforts. So. The obstacles, again that we were faced with was not that we needed, to replace, an aging system. So. The. Agenda will, be again, the introduction of backgrounds and then we're going to present to you the new technologies.
And We. Really, are. Focusing, a lot in this presentation, on the specific, implementations. That we did over the past. 18. To 24, months and also. Providing. Hopefully. The background, and. The. Business, case as to why we implemented. These new technologies. And then, of course we'll do some lessons learned and some, QA. So. First I always think it's important, from the, state perspective to, give some demographics, about the agency, and the environment. That we're doing our work in so, this is just some, information for, FY 2015. I believe it was through July, because we use this presentation I'm. Earlier, this year but. I do think one of the most important, thing here, to note is that 50% of, our case management is done by private agencies, we, have approximately. 270. Staff doing, direct service and a, total of a thousand, faces, net, users basis, dotnet is the name of our sacra system so probably. For a lot of states on the call that may, actually. May be the fewest number of users. For. A sack with system but. It doesn't give context, for the district of District, of Columbia I also. Want to give a little bit of background on. The. DC CE. With which. Was, originally implemented, in 1999. And it was called. Faces it, was a client-server. Powerbuilder. System. In. 2006. We, really did our first major modernization. This, was a very significant. And a basically. A re-engineering. Of, the existing, system and we. Web. Enabled. Web-based the system in 2006. Using dotnet, and, as. Far as the our. Sac. With approval. Goes we, are Children's, Bureau approved, action plans in, 2015. With. Three. Significant. Requirements. That are outstanding at this point. So. This, for those that are interested in really from the technology, background this is the architecture. And the infrastructure, of the, phases system. So. If you. Hopefully. You can see this if not I think you can blow up the PowerPoint. At some point and see get, a better representation. Of, it, so. I also think you know when we think about modernization. It's. Also probably important, I think just to say, we. Didn't start out taking. Our project, saying we were going to modernize, our system this was not as at. The beginning a modernization. Quote. Unquote. Modernization. Project, but, when you think of what monetization, is it's. A model of progressive, transition, from a pre-modern, to, traditional, or traditional, to modern, to. Make modern an appearance style or character, update to. Accept, or adopt modern ways ideas, or style and, all. Of us most, of us are sure who have been involved, in the sack with child welfare information systems, world and a pad system that, have been around for a while you realize, that. The. Technology. That's available now, and. Two. Three, eight these types of systems is a lot different even than it was in 2006.
And A. Completely. Different world than it was in 1999. And, so, there really this is the time and it's probably been, this way for a few years where, there really a lot of modernization. Efforts, that can be made using. These new technologies. And without having to create, a whole brand new monolithic. System. So. In our. Experience. The drivers that we had here in the District of Columbia, was. This. Really started in 2013. Is basically, two years ago almost to the dot today. And, we. Had a visionary leader leader, Brenda. Donald who is now the deputy mayor in the district for Health and Human Services, but. She was really changing. The way our agency. Was operating, and had. A big, vision for how we did our practice, but also the, support around. The practice, and that was not just. Technology supports. But a lot of it she wanted to have new technologies. That would support the work but it was a complete. Encompassing. Idea. Of how we really improve our system. We've. Also been under a federal lawsuit. Since, 1989. And, this, is really the, lawsuit, has really, created a. Climate. Of compliant. And folks, are really driven on, these. Meeting. These measures, and so, that we've looked at data a lot we've been looking at data for years and love that is really around the, lawsuit. We also our director, created. A strategic framework which, was to refocus. And reframe. The way that we were talking out about our practice away, from the federal lawsuit but. Into these more released strategic, thinking, and having. Some clear goals and objectives, that we were aiming for and just, to go over them real quickly they're called the four pillars and the first pillar was to narrow the front door meaning we were going to remove children only when absolutely necessary. The, next was that. Foster. Care would be a temporary, safe haven so, we, didn't want children to linger, in foster, care that we wanted we need to remove them for their safety our main goal is to get them back home or into a safe place as quickly as possible. Also. Focusing, on the will well-being, and not just the, safety of the child but their ongoing well-being, as far as education, and, mental. Health and other things, go that we would focus on that and finally. The final pillar was exit, to positive, permanency, so that we again making, sure that foster care was a temporary, safe haven but, that when we exited. Children, it was too positive permanence you're not aging, out or something like that at. The same time we. Were. Doing. Some significant. Practice, ships it's really changed, the way that we did our work as, an agency that first was we were awarded, a trauma grant and the grant was, to implement. A trauma-informed. Practice. Across, the entire agency and so that when we are dealing with children and families we're, really addressing the trauma that they have experienced, prior to coming into care and.
The. Next, thing was being. Granted, the forty waiver so we started, being able to shift our practice, away from all, of our dollars being involved with the foster, care, diving. Out of home but to also prevention. And using our forty dollars to, prevent, children from coming into care and. That. Led, to actually. The bigger and bolder challenge. And this, was in, 2014. Our budget, for fiscal, year 2014. Had. A surplus, in it so number of reasons one we were successful, in narrowing the front door so we had fewer children in foster care but. Had budgeted, for a larger. Number of kids in foster care and those dollars were freed up under. The forty waiver we, were able to negotiate, a new. Reimbursement. Rate, with. The ACF. That, was actually, going it was retroactive, for two years so we were able to claim backwards, for two years and we ended up in this situation, which very, rarely were, faced with his state agencies, that we actually had surplus, funds that, needed to be spent, in fiscal, year 2014. So. The, challenge, was how are we going to spend those dollars to, really further the work that the district is doing and finally. The driver was we. Did have a mature C, was our faces that had been around a bit and used for several years there, was strong confidence, in the, functionality. Of this system as well as the data that came out of this system, it. Was web enabled so people could access it anywhere they had an internet connection and. We. In fact we're so much it you. Know folks were saying more things need to go in faces more things need to go in there instead of like we need to get rid of that system and do something, else. So. The challenge was Brady. How we've how are you and your team going, to spend this money what's your plan so. We. Sat down in a room we, spent several hours looking, over what we knew to be existing, business problems, and how, we wanted to build on what we had and the, strategic. Plan, we came up which was one well let's maximize, our, existing, IT investment, we've spent money on phases, it's, works, we're, getting a lot of the data that we walk out of it so, let's just leave that and build on what we already have but. With all these new practice, changes, it also we're coming a number, of requests. We need this assessment, in this system we're, trying to assess for trauma and we want to be able to. Do. Other screenings. And deeper assessments, but you need to do it quickly so we needed a nimble, approach to, development, and. With. The focus. On our, lawsuit. And compliance. We, really weren't getting, the results, that we wanted to the existing, number of data reports, that we had out there we were meeting, some measures, that there just wasn't a sense of ownership and, one, of the things we really, saw was it the, way we were, reporting was so one-dimensional. That. It really wasn't meeting the needs of the agency so we wanted to enable a greater sense of data ownership, and responsibility for. The outcomes and then, finally, if there were a lot of requests for we need mobile devices, we, want tablets, we watch smart phones and we understood that those. Devices we're, only as good as the amount of work that you could do on them instant our. Stack was to see which was not, mobile. Friendly you just couldn't load the entire, application or, the entire, system, on a smart, on our tablet that. We wanted to really create some mobile applications. But. We also knew that it was very important, that in all of these different initiatives we, weren't, doing. Something that appeared to be different. Right this was we. Recognized. And identified the, business, needs but, we also recognized, the need that this needed to be as seamless, as possible to. Our social, workers and that the number of the amount of work that. They had to do to use these new technologies really. Needed to be. Zero. As possible as minimal, as possible so keeping. With the idea this is all still, faces, right it's built upon existing. Data. And our, technology. Investment places but, we're just using that system to drive other types of activities, and uses another types of technologies. So. How. We. That was our strategic, plan and we needed some solutions, to do, to. Meet the strategic plan, and we. Came up with these were the solutions. That we invested, in first was the Avoca forms, automation, which, allowed us to have a more nimble approach, again to the, types of practice, requests that we're coming to us rather than having to build dotnet. Screen we, could use the forms automation. We. Invested, in the burst data visualization. Platform as a way to build a more interactive system. For dealing with the data that we had. And. We also built some mobile and we'll go more into detail, with.
These In a minute but, also at the same time we still needed to make changes to our the, sack was functionality, or to see what's functionality, and we, had a major. Initiative. Going on with redesigning, our case, plan based on. Assessments. That were being used for our, trauma. Grant as well as our 40, waiver and this, was the Kappas and the Pyxis and. The caretakers shrimpson barriers and all these were replacing, existing, assessments. So that we could have a new case plan based on these new practice, changes, so. There's a lot going on at one time which, actually. It. Probably. Was a little insane, to do all these things at one time and in a span of 18 to 24, months but I guess. So I was saying that without. Losing your strategies because everybody seems pretty sane still, but. The, other thing we did to be able to do multiple things at one time indicee. Was is we created the, ability to do multiple development. Streams at one time and then, finally sort. Of to, me it's like the, least sexy, activity. That we did it was probably the one that was the most important, to really get to buy-in and to be able to integrate, these, programs, together was the secure authentication. And, the, single sign-on so. That workers would not have to remember. Multiple. Usernames and, multiple. Passwords, which, is that one of the most frustrating things that we all experienced, right so let's, at least eliminate that as a problem, when, we're introducing. These new technologies. And. So, we. Did that and we also created, a single sign-on portal, which, all of these to. Access, these different. Solutions. And technologies, you, could go to one portal, so. That actually, leads I've, completed. My part with the introduction, and now we're going to dive into the. Specific. Solutions, and we're going to start with our data. Visualization. Solution. I'm going to turn this over now to Lauri Peterson. Thank. You Brady. Good. Afternoon I'm Lauri Peterson and, I manage, the day-to-day activities. As our information, management team, and, just to get a background, on what we do currently, we, design and develop and maintain over 300, Crystal Reports in, our system, the, data reports, on key performance. Indicators. For our content, order our, federal, reporting, whether it's in camps askers or knighted, in any ad hoc reporting, we have. When. We barked upon this initiative. To come up with the data visualization. We said what are we resolving, here whether it's the end goal for this how, can we advance our, staffs, ability, to. Educate and the. Data-driven decisions, that they need to make on a day to day basis, and look. At that data in a meaningful way. We. Also wanted, to reduce the burden on our staff, to create additional ad, hoc reports, because we receive, a numerous, amount of reports.
Requests. From. All over asking. Us for data, so. We our current, system is our Crystal Reports systems. Right. Now we have a lot of reports, as I mentioned we have over 300 reports in our system, those, reports, are accurate. They. Possess, the data, and. A summary format, there. They. Just product activity. That we do in our system or a particular, process, that we do in our agency, for our business practice, but. There are some limitations to those Crystal Reports there. Is limited data visualization. Capabilities. It. Requires, end-users. To, go in and access multiple, reports, to gain the information that, they're looking for, there. Was no ability to, view trends, across a period, of time and, there, was limited flexibility. To filter, or break down the data as desired, by bu users. This. Part here, is a representation, of, six, different management. Reports, personal reports that we use for, our visitation. Metrics. Yes, we would have to pull six different report, multiple. Pages, and to drill down all the way to the, details. Of these reports. Imagine. All six of these reports, for all the culture there's pages, and pages of summaries, and details, this. Can be a daunting task at, times it's time-consuming if, you, have to pull and, printout multiple, pages of reports and, you can't see the information, all at once. The. Birth reporting. System, which is our visualization, in, our dashboard. Platform. That we created and, allows those users, to take those six reports, and be able to see all of this in one single, view at. A click of a button you, can determine, what. How am i performing on my dissertation I, can see all of the information see, my landscape. Drill down to the user it. Improved, the efficiency for gathering, analyzing and. Sharing information it's, more real-time it, gets updated every, day, it, reduces, the amount of resource, hours, used to. Fulfill any of, the ad-hoc report, requested, I've mentioned, before, the. Above goals, enable. Us to have the right information at. Our fingertips at. The end users, can become self-sufficient, and, own their own data. So. We, took all six of those reports. And we put, them in what we call a dashboard, that those. Six reports, with multiple, pages many, many pages, can. Be visualized, with, all of these nice colors. And. One. Screen, so. Now I can see the, performance, metrics of all six, visitation. Metrics, that we have and one, at a glance as, well as being able to drill down as, you, can see at the top of the screen there, is a select, feature that allows me to drill down to a specific worker. And so I can take it and look at a unit, level an administrative. Level all, the way down to an individual, worker the. Dashboards, are interactive, if I Colette's the need they, will with. The dashboard below, will respond, accordingly. This. Is our burst on. Bi. Business, intelligence, architectures, this is how we got to where we are, so, this first layer is our data source knowing. Where your data is coming from is, useful. When, you're addressing the business, questions. The requirements. Charli's. Our single, data source is faces. Our C with however. There. Is an ability, to, expand to have multiple, data sources. Layer. Two in this picture, it focuses, on three main process. The. Extraction, transformation and. Loading from. The data source, that later. Below, that. Data is extracted, cleanse. And transform. After. Which it's, loaded, in a targeted, repository. Which is our data warehouse. That's. The layer three our, data warehouse is the first cloud. Each. Nine our data, is, extracted, and, uploaded, to the first cloud, where. It is further processed in, the, data warehouse so we had to take all of our data our existing, tables, within the faces database, to see which database, and, we had to cleanse them and and. Cleanse. The data and format. It so that we can have our data Mart, to have our attributes around. A single process. And you'll see that in the next slide how I ended up, using. So. Our data warehouse does. After. Transforms. And upload, that data the. Data warehouse. Goes, to the end user layer which, is how they see the actual dashboard. So. When we talk about a data warehouse, when, you actually do the data modeling, which, we did for all of our different practices, whether it was intake. Case, management, we. Have to actually, reorganize. Our data and this, is just a pictorial what, happened, we had to actually have attributes, around. Those data that come, up with a single process. This. Is a sample, of our data dashboard. Today. You have approximately, 40. Key. Performance, indicators. Those, are identified. At the top left where. You can see the. Numbers. And, red. And blue red. The. Blue indicates, that we're in compliance with the performance, measure red. Gives, the percentages. Excuse. Me you, actually have hyperlinks, on the key performance indicators. You can click a hyperlink. To drill down to the details we. Have different. Visualizations, whether. It's a funnel, obviously.
When You're on the green section of the funnel you have, time to complete an activity as. You get closer and closer to the due date of an activity you, get closer, and closer to red so you don't want to get into red and, then you have all of the information on the right-hand side of the dashboard, where, you can actually click, and see specific, information, related, to a particular worker. Other. Great features about this data visualization. Tool is we're, able to export. Reports. And different formats so, any of those visualizations, that, we've all developed or, any of those dashboards, that are available they. Can be exported into, any of these active. Softwares. Whether it's a PDF, PowerPoint. Excel or. Word and so that's pretty useful when, you're preparing, for a presentation or. Doing your supervision, with your staff you, can actually export. Those those. Charts, and the visualizations. And have a discussion you, don't have to recreate the wheel. Additionally. You can schedule reports. The, reports scheduling. Is pretty. Important. And has been a great feature that, staff are excited, about so. Each morning. They don't have to go into the visualization. System, pull the same data once. They schedule, their report, they make, it send. It as often, as they want and it's sent via email. So. During our birth, implementation. As. I mentioned we have over 40, key, performance, indicators. Unfortunately. I don't have a number of dashboards. That, that's equivalent, to but we. Took a lot of practice, from the front door all the way up to our, population. Serve. Those. Indicators. Are, still. We're still adding to them but some of the lessons learned those as we were developing our. Birth. System, we, needed to have earlier, involvement, by our program, staff so. We wanted to do this quickly we got it done in about. 16. Months, to. Date, but. We, wanted we needed, a starting, place so, because, we were familiar we, developed, over 300. Crystal Reports we, knew the activities. Of, the. Agency, and, their. Reporting, requirements. We started with our compliance, reporting. That we need it for our court monitor, as a guide or, is a way. To start, developing the, dashboards. But. As we, move away from compliance. Driven, agency. And more, about, serving. Our families, and children. We. Probably should, have discussions. With our, that. Our. Program, staff from some of their needs the look and not necessarily, be so compliance, driven so, we will want to have them involved earlier. Also. Develop, a communication. Strategy this. Tool is so awesome, it's so interactive, all, the colors, and the. Data. That's at your fingertips. People. Get so excited our. Authorizes. The information. Well. We should have communicated, it a lot, better and just advertised. And a lot more to, get people on board in, the beginning. Also. The, technical, staff training. It would be ideal if that technical, expertise. Was. Developed. In-house, prior, to. To. Rolling. It out or actually. Even. Put in. Plans of. Account. For that learning, curve because these technical, skills that are required for building is. We. Learned this while, doing it and and how but, that was infected, into the timeframe for releasing, this system. The. Next step for our birth system, is to, continue, to adopt user user, adoption. Strategies. Like, how do we plan to work with the program staff but, all of this, great. Data at your fingertips how. Do we plan to. Strategize. On how you should use the system so we're going to continue to work with what staff Annette we're. Also going to expand our dashboards. To incorporate, practice, changes, recurrently. Changing. Ours safety. And danger assessment. In which were then create, a dashboard to, reflect that, you're. Going to have ongoing assessment. And opportunities, for future dashboard. Development. And so we're excited about continuing to work with that and, what. That says that's the end of my presentation with, regard to our data visualization. And I'll now turn it over to Eldon Harmon to talk about our mobile strategy. Good. Afternoon everyone my name is Eldon Harmon and an IT manager with CSX a and I. Just want to talk on the talk a little about the mobile application so, I'm going to begin the presentation talking. About the. Business, requirements, for, the mobile app and it, started with equipping, employees. With, mobile. Devices the goal is to. Increase productivity and then also enable. Access, to external applications, such as Google. Maps and. Also Google Translate and once. We've deployed the mobile devices we, now start to look at the needs of social workers, social. Workers need access to case those while in the field so the. Daily life of a social worker there at a client, site they, whip up a notepad because, they put they maybe jot down some notes earlier, or maybe. They would go in and put some information and look in the laptop look in a laptop for. Information that they need related to the client, so.
They Definitely needed to have access to case to case those while in a field also. Social. Workers require smaller. Easily, accessible, device so, you probably can imagine they're talking, they're another client and this. Is not a situation where they want to whip out their laptop or even. They might be in a situation where they, are in. An unsafe environment and, they. Don't necessary want to whip out their laptop, and get unwanted. Attention, another. Need. Is that they needed why fire internet connectivity the laptop would require Wi-Fi access or, a connection, to the internet whereas, in some, situations, maybe on the train or on their. Way home, at night they may need. To have access to in at connectivity, and they. Don't have that when they when they have the laptop. But. We needed a solution that would enable social workers to one. Capture, notes while in the field easily. Access, case file information and, also. Easily, update / add, contacts. These were some, of the basic requirements that we needed to, the thought. About creating our app and this is some, of the information that we we use to actual start to design of our, mobile, app. So, now, we're at a point or at least. In this presentation I'm at a point where we, decided, that we're going to deploy, a mobile, app but we don't necessarily have the. Information. To deploy the app so what we did was we create, a RFP we reached out to vendors and, we. Also, worked. With the office of chief technology, officer oh we call them octo and we, work with och bill and the. Vendor to identify, our need to, support, or stand up a mobile, application. We. Will from, that working. With the vendor and I feel we've identified, that we needed security. Encryption. And ability. To remote wipe, data so if, the phone was lost. Or, stolen. If the data was encrypted and if it was lost we can remotely wipe any data that was on the phone we. Also wanted to exploit this application, internally, to all our employees but. We needed an internal, app catalog, to deploy this. Application to. Our employees we. Also need a single sign-on solution for, login session and I. Always thought single. Sign-on was only for web applications, but, it actually turns out that mobile, applications. Require single. Sign-on because, this you close. Out the application, and you go to another one well. You, still want you don't have to always have to log in which username, and password and single, sign-on allows. That as, well as allow allows, you to put in user name and password and secures the application, we, also needed restful, application, programming interfaces, API. Technologies, so we can have that bi-directional. Communication, with our databases and once. We have API is we have to have a way to manage. Those API and our API, management system would allow us to manage, those API. So. This slide really I'm just trying to identify the. Actual technologies, that we use we. Use AirWatch, and VM our, mobile device management to. Secure imagine. To, do that remote wipe that I had mentioned earlier to, provide security, and also to push, out the, application, to all our users we. Use the cheer-off to enable secure access to, the application, this is where while. I was talking out before about the single sign-on we use secured off for single, sign-on this will allow, the users put in a and password and also. That, multiple, session, access, to the access I talked about with mobile applications we, also use it for other apps. Within. Our ecosystem. We, use single sign-on picture, off and for. Our application, we call it n faces it's, powered, by ten API that's, compatible with iOS and, Android platforms, these. Ten ma P is again allow us that bi-directional, communication, with our database and then. We also have to manage those api's CA. Layer, set and api gateway and this. Really allows us to. To. Protect or to secure the API so that not everyone can access the api's we actually will provide them a key to, access those API through our, CA, layer 11 layer.
7 API gateway and one, other thing that we do with the with the gateways that we can have, those those. Api is directed, to different environments so, recently we had a situation where, we needed, to have a user look not in our production environment or a touch user not, to look at our production environment but, to look at our pre-production, environment and, we, use the layer layer, 7 api at gateways to do that and the. Image to the right is really just. Showing. You the different technologies, that we have. Well. Now that we learned, how to stand up how to stand up a mobile app we, have the, different technology that we put up the secure off we put an air watch but, now we have all. This infrastructure, in place we went ahead and started to build the app based off of the, information from focus groups and from, our users and making, sure that we take in the needs of our social workers and we created this app so, now the, end faces app will, allow social workers to review, caseloads, and assignments, record. Visits map, directions, receive. Alerts take, investigations. Access, critical phone numbers and update, contact notes we, also and, this slide does it tell all the background, information and the, blood and sweat and tears that went into developing the app but. It we, have different environments that we use to test the app we have our, RUP, environment which is our unit testing environment, we have our pre-production, environment and. We also have our prod. Environment, which we. If you iterative iterative. Development of. The app so that we can ensure that the, testing, is done before they go into production. This. Okay. Lessons, learned so the first lesson is or, less at least the first bullet that I put in here is that you need to know your users and I, started off this presentation talking about the needs of the social worker and that's really how. We came about developing, the app is trying to satisfy that, need for. The social worker to be able to go out on the field access. To, work with their clients and to. Be, effective at their jobs the, development, process is iterative we're. Constantly learning as. I've mentioned in a slide earlier that we had to learn what, technologies, were needed to stand up the mobile app, but. We are also learning different, process better processes, to actually make, the app more efficient, and we use those different environments, to do that, managing. Different technologies, a political. To here from managing the management of different technologies, and the reason I say, that it, may not come across very clear in this bullet is that, at. Least with Android, and I, think when we go to iOS when, we're dealing with the mobile multiple, technologies, for example AirWatch. Secure. And Android. Their Android iOS OS, systems, they all have different updates and one, situation, that happened to us is that our. AirWatch. Solution. Didn't really play well with, our Android updates, and as, a result all of our users had to wipe. Their phones we had to wipe, each of the users we had to come in to communicate, to the communication, outsell the users that they, needed to come, in and get their phones fixed.
By Us or they may end up wiping their phones and it was something that we didn't want to go through but we had to go through there's a hard. Lesson to learn but we. Learned it and going. Forward we would definitely do it differently I hope, that bullet here for researching. Security, message early in development process, a lot of the technologies, that I mentioned, earlier is really, around security, and it's really trying to without. Putting that those those, technologies, up front in the beginning it. Would made it made it very hard to do it in the back end so definitely, research security. Americ methods early and in, the development process communication, is, definitely. Key for, success you have a year developing a great product and no, one will know there's a great product if you don't communicate. That, this is a great product and that is coming in. Next. Steps, updates. And testing, will occur in development, environment, the, reason why I put. This bullet in here is because of that same, reason, when, I talked about iOS, or, Android. OS system not playing very well with, the air. Watch is that that went straight into our production environment that, should have went into maybe our pre-production. Environment or UT environment, prior to going into production so going, forward next step is to ensure that all, of those updates, go into like a testing. Environment and that, we will use, those environments prior to going into maybe our production, this is just a hard lesson that we learned early work. With focus groups for future enhancements so the, goal here that we. Ensure, that the app is effectively, used and it's effective for the users so that will continually, you know get from gets the information from the horse's mouth and and. Find out what the needs are and what it what's, necessary, to make the app more, effective. For the users. Develop. A process for incorporating, user feedback so you would, think the two these two bullets are the same but they're different because this. One, over this bullet I'm talking about incorporating, user feedback without even knowing that, you're that they're giving, feedback so we've recently. Started. Using Google Analytics, to, capture information like, how many how.
Many Users are logging into certain pages or how, many users. Are actually using that so, this is information that we're capturing that they don't even know, that we're, capturing, but this will help us be more effective so for example we noticed that they're using a certain page very, often, we, can probably focus on making enhancements to that page or if that. Page is no longer being used maybe you, no longer need to use that page so we can make, enhancements to the application, by. Using Google annex and getting that feedback about, our users. Security. Is always increasing it's always changing, so we definitely want to keep an eye for any new security, updates and any. Way that we can make the, app more. Usable. For. The user and a. Last last, one I have, here is advertised, advertiser, size I think it's it's, very important, that you advertise and. Let everyone know set. Up those groups and. Talk to everyone, and let them like the different stakeholders, and let them know that this is something that's coming out and have, has. Them also, advertise, your product because if you have this great tool that can make people's lives easier it's better if they have it in their, hands. So. That concludes my my. Portion of the presentation I, will now hand, it over to, Spencer otter who will talk about polka thank you. Good. Afternoon again, my name is Spencer Walter I'm the application, supervisor, here with the District of Columbia um I, know that Brady talked about it early on in the presentation but, I want to set a little bit more context, in terms of what, happened with iboga and why we were led to actually start or form, the automation process so, with the shifting priorities we've talked about the 4e waiver you, talked about trauma, but, at the end of the day it really changes, the lens to which we were viewing families, and assessing families and ultimately linking, them to. Service, so that inherently meant that, just, on volume alone we needed to be able to speed, things from from, conception, to market, so. The, same point we also knew that biggest, challenge, to actually getting. A project from. Conception. All the way to Margaret really rested in gathering, requirements and. In the depth I spend. A lot of time in a lot of closed doors pulling, at each other's hair and fighting back and forth trying. To make sure that our concepts, were clear trying, to make sure that we had accounted, for every, different nuance, trying. To make, sure that we got it right the first time and that, we, didn't have to go back and do any rework, and so. It really, began to. Happen. How we were able to conceptualize and, also we move things from from. Thinking, and actually putting it into production we. Also knew that the federal regulations. Required. A sackless, to be the system of rec so even, if we were able, to get workers to enter in information we knew that that information that data had to come back into our system when we had to be able to record it and and, report on it we. Also knew that we had to match, existing. Supply, to an increasing, demand I mean, the photo to the right is not my office my office farmer, did look like that at one point because, in a lot of ways you were getting information about, requirements, or enhancements. Or things that people want to change in. Our cycle system in hallways. You. Would get them in passing and so there was an increasing demand to get a lot of information. And then figure out a way to draw a straight line between, our. Practice, and and and, what our commitments. Were what's. Not on the slide is that we also recognized, that we had a changing, workforce. We. Knew that that folks were coming in the door now and they were they. Were more computer, and smartphone savvy. So. They're, part of the app generation, so they want to think now and be able to ask access. Data and to make decisions on it so. All. Of this kind of set the scene for us thinking out of the box and, really trying to determine this the best way for. Us to meet that increasing, demand. So. We came up with forms automation, I know mr. birdsong, at the end of the day would always say, you, know no, matter what we're doing it new. It really is just a form and so. A form, and we need to be able to standardize, the way that we collect data the, way we store, it and then the way that we report on it so why, not take a chance and figure out we can't figure out some software, or identify, software, that, could make that form an editable, document. Where. We can track things and and really meet some of our needs so not, to regurgitate, a lot of what's already.
Been Said but but really just to drive the point home that, there are some common themes and there's some common. Components. On the IT side, that we leveraged, and we use in different ways to, meet multiple needs so, we've already talked about single sign-on which reduces, the, need for workers to read our pet usernames, and passwords, we've, talked about developing, API and, using. Those API to bring information from. Our database, and, what other technology, we need to use it we've, talked about incorporating topics. That now these to store our data and to make sure that we can always extract it and bring it back into our, database but. The big one for us in terms of the performance automation, piece it's really the idea of the rules engine. You. Know what would sackless, with our faceless system being a mature system a lot. Of the code that was used that governs of functionality. Is written, on to the screen so if you have a data element the, code of how the data element is supposed to function and whether or not it's, supposed to relate to a different screen is written on the screen itself. But. Now with a rules engine you. Can develop those screens independently, of one another and, the code actually sits on top of the screen to coast governs, how, those screens offshore operate, and hello strains function, so we knew we wanted to take advantage of that. After. Landing, on forms automation, and we used a software called Avoca a, couple. Of things we. Knew we are we were able to compete our complete. Customizable. Forms, which operated, just like faceless screens there was no difference, we. Were able to easily. Integrate, it with faces on that here again pulling the data that's entered in to a forms automation, software and pulling that back into our database so, that our reports. Don't. Skip a beat we, still were able to honor the federal requirement, and support the case management processes, it, gave us an opportunity to let the profits breathe a lot, of this was was was really around, making. Sure that workers could do their job, more effectively and we had a lot of different themes and paradigms that, we weren't even sure at that particular point, would work together and, how they would work together but. We knew at the end of the day that at least forms of automation gave us an ability to, make changes on the fly at. The same time we were able to control security and access, we. Able to really. Frame the data storage so we were able to pull from the cloud back in the faces next, we, could do approval, processes, so then. Being able to have a worker, complete a form and then senator supervisor, for approval, automated.
Workflows, So that is from A to Z, determining. How that that form. Is going to travel throughout your agency. Developing. An alert system for completing, tasks I know an earlier, slide when you were showing the mobile app we, had a reminder, their workers, like to be reminded and like to get information about, what's, coming up and what they need to do and draw their attention to, what's the most immediate, need Avoca. Allows us to do that and. Last but not least we can actually build in calculations. So. That we, know where information is going that we can determine our, next, move all. Of our forms right now are supported, by both both, on Android, and iOS devices, and, we. Know ultimately that, it reduces, the development on, the project, cost and the staff resources. So. As an example this is an alive demo, of our forms automation, but what this does is it highlights what, what it actually looks like and. From a user's perspective what, you're what you'll be able to do. So. If you're looking here, when, I log into the form this. Is our strengths and difficulties questionnaire. This is one of our core components, and screening assessments, for our trauma grant so. This, questionnaire, actually drives it assesses, emotional, and behavioral, issues, on five different scales, and. So. It's based, on how you answer this question it actually drives a referral, for, a deeper assessment, so if a. Kid is presenting, certain issues you're able to to, document, that we do the calculations, in the background, and those, calculations, actually roll up into a threshold and then we tell you whether or not that kid is in need of further, assessment. So, from. The API perspective. When a logger worker. Logs in they're, able to put in the client ID and that client ID calls to our database, it, pulls up the client name the child's, gender and the date of birth and then, from there the workers responsible, filfil filling out this the screening assessment, we have standardized, all their options it's on a Likert, scale so, the values range from not true to always true. They. Actually assess, behavior, across five different areas, that you're talking about, conduct. Hyperactivity. Peer problems, and. Pro-social. And at the end of the day we're able to to. Calculate the total difficulty, score. And. You. Can barely see it but at a score of 20 we, actually build that threshold and so that you can have a note, instructing. The worker that because, their. Behavior is abnormal, you really need to send this Center a referral to DBH which is our Department of Behavioral Health for, further assessment, so I know it's a very simplistic. Kind of view but, what it does is that it allows us to capture the most relevant data, and then, move it along without, having to write lines and lines of code. So. In terms of where we are today we, implemented, it forms automation, through Avoca and 2014. It. Really reduced the reliance, on both manual, and and. Alternative. Data databases. We found out that. There were a lot of staffs not that as it relates to client, related data but there were a lot of databases, whether they will access, databases, or, folks are using Excel. You. Know just to document and hold on and be able to report out on their daily activity so. Now instead of being having to do that we can turn that information, into, a form send. It to you allow you access it and now you have a standardized, way of collecting. All the data and rolling up the. Really big hit for us was that it reduced, the time to market from. 2 to 3 months to 2 to 3 weeks so. You, know my. Coworkers are left but I call myself mr. sdlc, because. We had one way of, actually. Doing our development, we did, the development. Lifecycle, and, so with. That we're gathering requirements for getting levels of estimate, we're, moving into a developer, we have a whole series of testing environments, that we're working through and that, process can be quite quite lengthy. But. Given. The given the same level, of effort the same estimate, the same staffing, resources if. You control for all of those things we can actually move from concept, to. Development. At about 2 to 3 weeks without, there being any impact, on product quality or, producing, a high. Quality product, and at the same time we're significally, cutting back on, our development time, at. The present present day we've developed. 17 forms across 8 different programs, and administrations, and, it turned, out more effective and efficient. Way to track, those, things that we weren't able to do previously, so.
In Terms of lessons learned which is like if I knew then what I knew now. The. Important, thing to remember is that, swarms. Automation, - it may speed up your development process. And, your project, process but it doesn't replace it you're still gonna have to go through those same steps you're, still gonna have to do requirements, and you're still gonna have to do level of testing and it's going to be very important, that you approach it and think, through it as best you can on the, front end workforce. Workflow, clarity, and changes. Knowing. How you want that form to operate, and how you want it to move throughout your agency, or your program it's, very very key, Avoca. Will allow you to change, but, you could spend a lot of time rerouting. Forms that were supposed to go to, destination, a now, that has to go to destination, B it's, got a lot of time doing rework, it. May sound counterintuitive, but. You really need to think backwards in terms, of all of your data you. Need to think about what the end goal is where, you want that data to end up does it trigger other pieces of functionality. Do. You only want to be able to report out on it is it used in any other shape form and fashion and then think back where all the way to implementation. And how that data should look on the form and lastly. Align, those data fields. With. Your existing database to, ensure that once the data comes back in you can report on it you're, not going to spend time trying to translate and change, data around. In. Terms of next steps. We. Really want to move forward fully integrating, these forms in the forms of automation platform. Interfaces. That, you can navigate it, and navigate to it's through faceless dotnet and, we want to continue expand the forms automation, platform, so it includes more case management, tools and, and, expand, more functionality.
The Example that I use of the strengths and difficulties questionnaire. Right. Now that that current questionnaire is just identified. Symptomatology. And then leads. To a referral but, ultimately, you want to get that information back, from that second, assessment and then, be able to roll that into our case plan document, so, right, now we've, done phase one so folks container it and we can report out on it but now we want to go so further and actually link, that to other pieces in our sacra system so we can have a little more robust process, from beginning to end. There. Was that I'm gonna turn it over to mr. birdsong, and have him go over some very, gentle listen. Thank. You sir, everyone, and. As. You can see the way that we operate in DC, is we, move pretty fast and, move through, things pretty fast we did of all, these. Enhancements. And initiatives, in about 18, to 24 months and we did our presentation. In about an hour so that's. We, just rolled through. The. One thing some of the general lessons learned that we have up here and first. I'm going to step back and say I think one of the things too is, we. Really did take on as y'all can hear and hopefully understand a lot of new initiatives and in a short amount of time and I think there was a consistent, theme. Throughout, the lessons, learned was. Almost. That we didn't have enough time to I mean, we these, have been successful, implementations, that there was a lot. Of really fast moving, and. Because. One of the things was not only where we're trying to do a lot we also because, of I'm sure other states, are the same way we had the budget was only available to us for a very limited amount of time and so, we, focused, in on implementation. Of. These monetization. Efforts and, we're. Getting. Really good use out of these but we still need to continue to, ensure, and push. That. We're getting the full use out of this investment that we expected, we, have in the value. Out of these investments, so. Again. So the general lessons learned in, there you, know is have a destination, which I think we did we knew what, we were going to what, we wanted to accomplish and. We had a plan to reach that destination. I'm. Going to talk a little bit more about being comfortable in the messy middle and then communicate, communicate, communicate and. The. Visual. Below that is it, might sort of sound like you. That we had this very, level. Playing you, know path from, our. Initial.
Ideas, And the plan to the end but, there was a lot of rocky places, in between and, there were a lot of, ad-hoc. Conversations. That affected, the. Plans and decisions, that had to be made because these were new technologies, for us and, we were dealing with, vendors. And, integrators. For all of them but, it was a heavy learning. Curve for. A, staff, of people that. Primarily, had been sacked with and.net. Focused. For, over. A decade and so, I applied. The. Team that just presented, their. Information, for, the amount of work that they have done over the. Past couple years and all. Of the the, new, things that they've had, to learn I think we, may feel like we've spent a lot of our time in the in, the. Valleys it's represented, on the reality, slide but I think we've, really. Depend. We've accomplished, a lot and. Are. A piece, versus, a valley right now so that's. Actually going to end our formal, presentation and, so now we'll open it up to I, think Joyce, or Kristy we'll open it up to questions and because. We're all in one room if. Somebody asked a question. Was specific, to one of the presenters it may take them a few seconds, to get to the phone so. Please, go ahead all right Thank. You Brady and I certainly want to thank, all. Of your presenters, they did a marvelous job. Before. We start the Q&A session, I just want to issue a reminder, to the attendees, that you can enlarge any of the slides. Containing. Graphics, for, your, better. Viewing and, secondly. I, want, to just issue a reminder. That the Children's Bureau is not promoting. Or endorsing, any of the products, that were mentioned those. Were simply, the. Ones chosen by DC, as they, modernized and. Implemented. Either, existing, and new functionality, in their faces application. So, with those disclaimers. Let's, turn it over to. The. Discussion and do. We have any questions from, our attendees. Christy. Hi. Yes we have our first one over, the chat feature how. Many developers business. Process, analyst, staff and testers, do you have. Well. Let me say one thing is as, District. FTEs. We. Didn't. Increase. Our. District. State staff at all during this process. And. So. We. Have we. Actually have a staff FTEs, of. 27. But that's including. The Supervisory, staff. Administrative. Staff, trainers.
And Some helpdesk staff so we actually don't have any we. Have some infrastructure, we have three infrastructure, people on board and. We have a vendor, that has. That. This is just on the Sacre side though. Approximately. 10, staff that are doing development, and the. Design and. Database. Administrator, on that side and then the. Vendors, that came in were probably only, about. 5. To, 10 additional, resources. Doing. The, integration. Of the solutions. That we talked about today. More. Questions Christy, sure. I just got one in I, would like I would love to learn more information about functions, about, the mobile app that allows currently. As well as how well those functions, are used by social workers in the field and what. Functions, DC would allow in the mobile app so, there's a three part question and, I can repeat that if you'd like, okay. Um we. May take them one at a time so I think the, first question that was what was the functions. That were currently. Allowed, in, the, foster. Parent, act and I. Mean, in the in phases in our sac with mobile. App which I just highlighted. That we're also building and and, mobile app for foster, parents right now so. I'll. Turn it over to, Eldon. Harmon, to talk about what the functions, are in the existing, in phases. So. At, a high level, what. The functions are is that you can you can add, contacts, you, can put. Notes and they contract notes you can also look. At the child's, information so you have a child, that you're interested in you can look at their their, information is pulled from the. Faces system and then I believe you can also drill. Down and, as well a feature that spoke to come in later is to take the pictures but we don't have that currently, oh. We. Do have that so. We have that sort of a case where you could take you can go in and take pictures and that's, kind of like the high level of stuff of what we're able to do with the high. Level functions at least oh they're. Also match, that you can you can use as well. So. I think the next public question was the type of usage that we were getting from the mobile app and what. Is we're, really working right now on getting, solid. Metrics. From the, from, Google Analytics to, really understand what kind of. Penetration. Into, our newer markets that we're getting but I believe it. During. Any given week it is 30. To, 40, percent of. Folks. With user, caps actually, use. This to use, the mobile app at some point we. Have from, looking at the data. Right. Now we. Have some users, who are very very heavy users, and actually, enter. Interacting. With. The. App in. A, much more way of actually recording information. I think some of them use it really just to, get information about cases, to. Maybe we as they said there's mapping, capabilities, so you can map out your visits like looking, what kids you have to visit so where does it fall on a map that you can schedule that way and then.
I Believe the final question, Christy was it what will, we allow in the future, it. Stated. What. Functions would you like to allow in the mobile app. Well. I mean that's an interesting question so I, think, there's, you. Know one, of the big things is how do we use it for, the. Top photographing. Kids, but mainly for profile, picture. There's. We. Also is we. Are using it for. Photographing. As it pertains to an investigation. But. We really don't have a district-wide, policy, on, on how, our foster, parents a resource parent or if, social workers can actually take pictures of kids so, that's something that we're working on we. Really are trying to think when we created, the mobile app our idea, was what. Are the, activities that get done out in the field right. Knowing. That we don't case plan a worker is not going to create a case plan on a smartphone it's, just two robust, of an activity to. Do there so we, really looked at the things that you would do while you're out of the office and, not at a desk and working on a laptop or a machine and so that's why we did them the apps that's why we gave them schedule I mean the map give. Them schedules we have the ability to come to record a contact, so, we're. Still also working with our staff to say where should. We take this right next but I think. A logical. Activity. Would be how, do you do a safety, assessment in this deal because those are things you're doing face-to-face. On-site. In. A real-time, moment, and they want access, or. I think there will be a desire, in the future to have access to our safety, assessment, and safety screening as well, as perhaps getting the ability to have clients, sign off on a. Document, or. Activity. That's in the that. That, the worker is, completing. Any. Other questions, while. Waiting, for. Someone. Else to submit, a question through the chat feature I have, something. To ask you. And that is, you. Certainly, implemented. A lot of new or. Changed, technology from. Business, intelligence, data. Visualization. Dashboards. Two, forms automation, - a mobile application, can. You speak. To how, you, organized. Your, end-user training for. All that new functionality. So. You know we did a number of different things so. With. Let's, say. There. Was not a one-size-fits-all. Training. That we did. We. Actually did some new, types. Of training. And, new methods, of training. But. I'm gonna talk. About bursts first, and one of the things that we did with our data visualization. Data. Dashboards. Was, we didn't want to Train this because from a technical perspective because, very little about this is technical. Right it's taking, the data that was already there, and presenting. It in a different way and adding some more functionality, about, how you drill, down so. Lori and our. Training supervisor Belinda Barton worked really closely with the, stakeholders. So when, we were releasing our CPS, and our CPS, dashboard, we, worked with the leadership. And that administration, said how do you want to use this with. Your staff. So, that the training would be focused, more on the. Usage, at that level than a technical. And so we partnered, with them and we've, looked at a number of different ways to get that information out, whether it's bringing them to a classroom or, we go out and we take it on the road we've. Done the same thing with the mobile apps but. We've. Also done a webinar with. The mobile app and ask people you know they can stay wherever they are call, in and we'll do it that way. The, forms, automation, forms, automation. Is actually, just stakeholders, in the audience, for those forms have been actually very specific, it's not been something yet that we've done an agency-wide. Form. So. That's, been. Training. At a very focused, user, group but. Also we've, also with that idea. We are automating, forms, that are owned by a business group and we're really partners empty to say we've automated the form for you now, you train the people that need to be trained. On. How, to use this form and we'll be there as the technical folks to, support it you, know one of the things that and it may be sound sort of crazy that, it's, taken, me about 14 years to realize this but, you know these, technologies. And these implementations. Are, really solving a business problem right, they. Are technologies. But it's not a technical. Project. Per se or the end result and so I think we. Have in the district at least. Anything. That's new has. Been seen oh that's an IT project, and where'