News

CWDS Initiates Program Increment (PI) 6 Planning

CWDS initiated PI 6 on March 8th and will continue work on this PI through May 2nd. Program Increment (PI) Planning delivers incremental value by iteratively developing, testing, refining and validating software within a set period of time. Program Increments (PI) are set by the project and generally 4-6 weeks in length with a series of 2-week Sprints throughout to check progress and troubleshoot as needed.

CWDS is planning several releases for this PI, including: Snapshot 1.1 and 1.2, Cognito 1.0, Facility/Home Profile 1.0 and Case Management Landing Page 1.0. Visit our events calendar for a list of upcoming sprint reviews in PI 6.

CWDS Assigns Regional Implementation Leads for Snapshot Roll Out

As the project gets ready for Snapshot to roll out to core counties in upcoming months, CWS-CARES has assigned Implementation Leads to each region. Implementation Leads will provide hands-on support to help counties and other stakeholders prepare to use the new system. For this Snapshot release, each Implementation Lead will work with a region to help guide stakeholders through the key activities, prepare for training and act as a liaison between counties and the project. All of our Implementation Leads will be working together and sharing information across regions for a holistic statewide view on implementation activities.  For more information, please visit the Digital Services Implementation Portal

CALS Team Working to Enhance System Features

The CALS team is designing and prototyping software that supports the county and state business process for certifying, approving and licensing Resource Family Homes and Children’s Residential Facilities. Early development efforts have focused on the Resource Family Home application process, including support to users from intake of a new application through to decision to approve or deny. The first delivery from CALS is slated to be a standalone facility and home search that integrates results from CWS/CMS and LIS and FAS, which will allow users to view placements, compliance history, and current license or approval status for all state-licensed and county-approved placement resources.

Video: OSI Chief Deputy Discusses User-Centered Design with Techwire

Office of Systems Integration Chief Deputy Director Peter Kelly spoke with Techwire about user-centered design and the Child Welfare Digital Services project.  Watch the video below:

Want real-time updates from CWDS? Follow us!

Now more than ever, CWDS is focusing on our social media channels for sharing information in real-time with our stakeholders and the general public. In the spirit of Agile methodology and project transparency, we are using social media as way to reach more people, more quickly, every day.

Whether you work on the project, or serve on the front line protecting children in one of California's 58 counties, you can keep up our efforts to replace the CWS / CMS system by following us on Twitter @ca_cwds, Facebook www.facebook.com/CaliforniaCWDS and LinkedIn www.linkedin.com/company/child-welfare-digital-services.

Moreover, vendors looking for information on current solicitations, state employees looking for promotional opportunities, other stakeholders interested in our latest project reports or social workers wanting to see our most recent CWDS developments can find this information by following us on our social media channels.

We also produce and host a variety of project-related videos on our CWDS YouTube channel. If you’re looking for more in-depth project content including system demonstrations and stakeholder meetings, please subscribe to our YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdoOvrtXKH1NacC4T85sADQ/videos

CWDS Seeks Project Director

With the recent internal promotion of its project director, Child Welfare Digital Services (CWDS) is recruiting to fill the key position that runs day-to-day operations overseeing the administrative and customer support functions of the project to replace California's legacy child welfare system for county social workers.

"We are looking for a talented leader to join California’s largest and most innovative project, the focus of national attention as government seeks to fundamentally change the way we do business," said Office of Systems Integration (OSI) Director John Boule. "This is an exciting opportunity to serve the public, to give back while being part of this monumental initiative."

With a staff of  more than 70, which includes the Project Management Office (PMO), the project director is responsible for overseeing contract management, budgeting, human resources, customer relations, state and federal reporting and the project’s overall implementation.

The project director, officially classified as a Data Processing Manager IV, will work alongside the product director, both reporting to recently promoted Office of Systems Integration Deputy Director Tony Fortenberry. CWDS is preparing for a national recruitment effort to fill the product director position.

"We are looking for a candidate who thrives on collaboration and can build strong relationships with the user community and county stakeholders," said OSI Chief Deputy Director Peter Kelly. "This individual must be a champion of best practices, an effective planner and decision maker, and be a strong advocate for using technology to support the mission of social workers to protect California's children."

As a part of the California Health and Human Services Agency (CHHS) within OSI, CWDS is developing a modern platform and infrastructure to replace the 20-year-old legacy child welfare management system used by county case workers. The project consists of eight digital services to replace the Child Welfare System/ Case Management System (CWS/CMS) that manages work for county child protective services programs, foster home approvals and licensing, and other critical functions that allow case workers to protect children.

CWDS is pioneering the development and operation of cloud-based software in the public sector, following a DevOps project lifecycle rather than a traditional design, development and implementation (DDI) / maintenance and operations (M&O) model. The project is taking an innovative new approach for California state government, using agile methodologies, free/open source software (FOSS) and user-centered design.

In November of 2015, after a decade of planning, the project changed its development strategy from the traditional “waterfall” approach to using agile methodologies which focus on iterative development cycles and a rapid feedback loop with end-users. Agile teams work in two-week sprints with daily status meetings to measure progress. With the project’s first code release in March, teams of state staff and contractors, including designers, developers and project managers, have been working toward full velocity under the new approach. Momentum is building as more developer teams are joining the effort each month.

[For additional information, see the job flyer here.  The state job announcement is here. ]



 

News Clips - Government Technology: Agile Acquisitions: Rethinking Public-Sector Purchasing

Cover Story: California was featured in the September issue of Government Technology

For years the state of California has been doing multi-year, multimillion-dollar software projects, only to find that many of them don’t produce the results the state had hoped for. They take too long to plan and execute, and cost more than expected. “Customers have one consistent thing they tell us: You gave me what I asked for, but it is not really what I wanted,” said Peter Kelly, chief deputy director for the California Health and Human Services Agency’s Office of Systems Integration (OSI).  Read the entire story published by Government Technology. 
 

CWDS Awards Contracts for Case Management Digital Service

Cambria Solutions and Accenture Start July 2017

Child Welfare Digital Services (CWDS) has selected Cambria Solutions and Accenture from the state’s Agile Development Pre-Qualified (ADPQ) vendor pool to work on the Case Management digital service. Case Management is the largest of eight services under development to create the system that will replace the existing Child Welfare Services / Case Management System (CWS/CMS) used by county case workers across California.

The Case Management digital service will provide county child welfare agencies a comprehensive, automated case management system that fully supports effective child welfare practices, and incorporates the functional requirements mandated by federal regulations. It will provide state and county caseworkers, supervisors, staff and managers with a simple and efficient tool for maintaining a case record in a variety of situations, including: family needs assessments, court supervised or voluntary in-home services, foster care placement, family reunification services, and permanency planning services.

The project is pioneering the development and operation of cloud-based software in the public sector, following a DevOps project lifecycle rather than a traditional design, development and implementation (DDI) / maintenance and operations (M&O) model. The project is taking an innovative new approach for California state government, using agile methodologies, free/open source software (FOSS) and user-centered design.

The project’s first code release, in March 2017, came six months before the selection and award of a system integrator and two to three years before any working software would have occurred under the previous monolithic “waterfall” approach.

CWDS Awards Consulting Contract to CivicActions

Berkeley-based CivicActions has been selected to provide technical consulting services for Child Welfare Digital Service (CWDS), the project announced on June 30.

CivicActions will provide six full-time staff to the project’s infrastructure team, helping provide a continuum of services and capabilities including integration, deployment, and automation. The new team members triple the project’s infrastructure engineer count from two to six, with the introduction of four new engineers, a performance analyst, and an experienced release manager who will also be the team’s Scrum Master.

CWDS is pioneering the development and operation of cloud-based software following a DevOps project lifecycle rather than a traditional design, development and implementation (DDI) / maintenance and operations (M&O) model.   The project is taking an innovative new approach for California state government, using Agile methodologies, free/open source software (FOSS) and user-centered design.

The project consists of eight digital services to replace the legacy system that manages casework for county child protective services programs, foster home approvals and licensing, and other critical functions that allow case workers to protect children.

With the project’s first code release in March, teams of state staff and contractors, including designers, developers and project managers, have been working to get started under the new approach.  Momentum is building as more developer teams will be hired in the coming months.

Louis Cretaro Selected to Head Court Processing Digital Service

County Consultant Louis Cretaro has been selected to serve as Service Manager for the Court Processing Digital Service, CWDS announced on June 28th. Cretaro, who currently serves on the CWDS project as a consultant for the California Welfare Directors Association, previously served as a Health and Human Service applications team supervisor in Placer County for 15 years.  He will also continue to serve as a subject matter expert on the project's interfaces team. One of eight digital services within the CWDS project, the Court Processing Digital Service will provide state and county staff with software that allows a child welfare professional to generate, complete, submit, and record submission of proper legal notice, court reports and court results. Working closely with county representatives and the CWS/CMS user community across the state, CWDS Service Managers lead product design and development teams to create software for the project to replace the legacy system used by case workers to help protect children in California.