CWS-CARES Digital Service Areas
CWS-CARES Product Building Blocks are defined in multiple Process Areas that represent distinct aspects of child welfare program, practice, and procedural expertise. These areas of expertise include Intake, Case Management, Courts, Certification Approval and Licensing Services (CALS), Resource Management, Eligibility, Financial Management, Data and Reporting Management, and CARES Administration. Please see the Service Area descriptions below, and the Service Area Core Constituents list after descriptions.Intake
Intake is the initial entry point into Child Welfare Services and includes processes to receive referrals from community members and mandated reporters, who are required by law to report suspicions and/or knowledge of child abuse, neglect, or exploitation within their professional capacity. The Hotline workers screen calls to ensure gathered information indicates a need for an in-person response. They also offer preventative services to address the immediate needs of the family which does not fall under the classification of child abuse and neglect. Following the receipt of a referral for child abuse, neglect, or exploitation, the frontline child welfare workers investigate and evaluate the allegations to mitigate child safety concerns and ensure the general well-being of the child. Investigators may remove the child(ren) from their current living situation and place them in the home of a relative caregiver or foster caregiver. The investigator will need to ensure that all warrant requirements were followed, they would file a petition and write a detention Court report, initiate a child and family team meeting with the parents to address the child safety concerns, and would recommend help parents reunify with their child(ren). Some petitions will recommend that the child stay in the home of the parents under child welfare supervision while other situations may allow for the family to receive Voluntary Services. The Investigator has the responsibility to ensure that any pathway chosen meets the legal standards for an open case. If there is no evidence to suggest abuse or neglect, even at risk of abuse or neglect, than the investigators will write up a narrative and close the referral without further action.Investigators will additionally provide preventative and after care resources to address the needs of the whole family system. Intake will include the following process areas:
- Community Based Connection
Case Management involves processes to identify, provide, monitor, and evaluate the services and decisions necessary to reduce the risk of harm to the child. Activities include everything from the opening of the case, whether court-monitored or voluntary, through the closure and some aftercare services. Case Management includes the following process areas:
- Prepare and Open Case
- Engagement, Assessment and Services
- Closure and After Care
Courts involve processes to allow a child welfare professional to generate, complete, submit, and record submission of the proper legal notice and court reports. This will inform the court of the status of the children and families served and memorialize the jurisdictional process. Courts will enable CWS-CARES to exchange data with court systems across the counties to ensure that documents and court orders are received timely which will impact the safety and permanency of children. Courts will include the following process areas:
- Prepare for Petition Hearing
- Prepare for Jurisdiction Hearing
- Prepare for Disposition Hearing
- Prepare for Status Review: Family Reunification
- Prepare for Status Review: Family Maintenance
- Prepare for 366.26 Selection and Implementation Hearing
- Prepare for Status Review: Permanent Plan
- Prepare for Non-Minor Dependent Hearing
- Prepare for Special or Interim Hearings
- Create Warrants
- Generate Notices
- Prepare for Ad Hoc Activity
- Process Court Results
Certification Approval and Licensing Services (CALS)
The goal of CALS in CARES is to create a single system that consolidates the licensing activities for state and county workers who ensure that safe and quality licensed facilities and approved homes are available for the children and non-minor dependents who need them. CALS includes activities related to ensuring that licensed facilities, approved homes, and associated individuals meet and maintain required standards.
Resource: Jeff Dent, Service Manager, CALS Central Inbox
Resource Management (RM) provides resource tools to case workers so they can provide timely and effective goods and services to children and families throughout the life of a case. In addition, RM will provide an array of approved placement options and provider data to utilize in making an effective placement. The resource tools will be maintained and updated regularly so the information is current and accurate. RM will include a comprehensive list of external contacts and organizations needed to coordinate services and create a resource history to track all reasonable efforts made to serve the child or family.
Resource: Jess Zayas, Service Manager, Resource Management Central Inbox
California’s Foster Care Eligibility Determination (FCED) solution will be developed and maintained within the California Statewide Automation Welfare System (CalSAWS) and will interface with the CWS-CARES. The FCED solution will support eligibility determination for all applicable federal and state foster care related programs and provide the capability to capture services paid. The FCED solution will leverage the existing SAWS technical infrastructure and components to calculate foster care eligibility as a single statewide capability. This integrated approach will ensure that all eligibility factors are consistently, accurately, and uniformly applied to and for all clients.
CWS-CARES will maintain provider information (e.g., license status, level of care provided, and cost of care) for facilities, foster care and adoptive home information (e.g., licensing decisions, violations, and revocations) as well as process foster care/adoptive home applications. The child welfare worker, using CWS-CARES, will initiate the eligibility determination process by completing and electronically submitting the eligibility data to FCED. Both the CARES user, as well as the eligibility worker, will have the capability to print the data in an application format for auditing purposes, as appropriate.
Resource: Tomas Dolcini, Service Manager, Eligibility Central Inbox
Financial Management (FM) includes all child welfare-related costs for the child/family through tracking assistance payments made through the Statewide Automated Welfare System, tracking costs by individual contracts management, tracking administrative costs by funding sources through a program code directory, and tracking payments.
Resource: Jess Zayas, Service Manager, Financial Management Central Inbox
Data Management assists with the development of metrics for each process area to support the tracking of outcomes. This service area also makes certain that data needed for federal and state-mandated reporting requirements are addressed in CWS-CARES and assists with the automation of federal data files and the creation of dashboards. In addition, Data Management contributes to prioritizing Data Quality Plan activities to ensure federal data quality standards are met.
Resource: Alicia Sandoval, Service Manager
CARES Administration includes all of the admin-configurable shared services, including identity and access management, document/template management, and workflow. The goal of this digital service is to support product building blocks as development progresses and ultimately deliver an Administrator Workbench; this set of product features will allow counties to make routine changes on their own.
Resource: Kevin Krogsrud, Service Manager, CARES Administration Central Inbox
Service Area Core Constituents
While participation from all county users is critical to the success of building a new child welfare system, the core constituents represent the interests of all counties for their assigned feature set, as the new Child Welfare system is planned and developed. With the assistance of the Child Welfare Directors Association (CWDA), core constituents from designated counties have been selected as representative subject matter experts (SME) within each Child Welfare Digital Services (CWDS) digital service process. Each core constituent is embedded in the project team and actively participates as a SME in policy, and program requirements, key state and federal outcome measures, and practice drivers such as decision points and event definitions.
Service Area Core Constituent List