Key Points from This Week’s Meeting with Southern California County Directors

On May 25th, the CWDS team visited the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services to provide an update on the child welfare legacy system replacement project.   In a meeting with child welfare directors representing eight counties across Southern California, the team answered questions on some key topics, including:

  • The Child Welfare Digital Services project plans to achieve full functionality of the existing system by 2020, when the legacy system is scheduled to be decommissioned.   The project’s eight modules will be launched in stages, with ongoing enhancements to be deployed on the modern infrastructure that will offer a vastly improved user experience.
  • Guided by user-centered design principles, each digital service works with teams from 4 to 6 counties, designated as Core Counties, to help design the system and inform important decisions.  Every county has the opportunity to serve as a Core County. As subject matter experts with years of experience working as case workers, Core County representatives are considered part of the CWDS project team.  They represent the user community throughout all 58 counties.
  • To help improve communication between counties and the project, CWDS is taking a more strategic approach to regular meetings so that important information can better reach county leadership. Starting in August, an hour-long, monthly meeting with CWDA and counties will be dedicated to discussing the new system.
  • A publicly available Sandbox will be available later this year to provide all county users visibility into the functionality of the new system.  The CWDS Implementation Team will work directly with counties, with an implementation lead assigned to guide and support implementation activities.
  • Policy questions, such as what impact pending legislation will have on the new system, are actively being coordinated between the County Welfare Directors Association (CWDA), the Department of Social Services and legislative staff at the State Capitol.   While project staff stays abreast of policy developments, CWDS developers, designers and managers are keenly focused on producing software to reach full system functionality by 2020, built on a modern platform designed for continuous future enhancements.