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CWDS Finalizes Program Increment 7 Planning

On April 24, CWDS conducted an all-day planning session for Program Increment (PI) 7, which begins on May 3rd and runs through June 27th.  PI Planning delivers incremental value by iteratively developing, testing, refining and validating software within a set period of time. Program Increments at CWDS are 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 development priorities over the next two months, each determined by deliverables that are ready to build and provide high value to our users. They include the Cognito identity management tool and administration page, Snapshot 1.2 enhancements and further coding for CANS (Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths assessment tool).

For more information on the CWDS development priorities, please click here. See our events calendar for a list of upcoming PI 7 Sprint Reviews.

CWDS Offering Data Quality Workshops

CWDS is offering a series of hands-on data quality workshops through December 2018. The workshops offer county staff involved with data quality activities the opportunity to learn about specific data reports or workflows, collaborate with other counties and prepare for the transition to CWS-CARES as new product features are developed and delivered.

For a list of training dates/locations and instructions on how to register for a workshop in your area, click here. For more information on the CWDS Data Quality process, visit the CWS/CMS Data Quality Portal.

Becky Stilling named CWDS Deputy Director

On April 6th, 2018, the Office of Systems Integration (OSI) appointed Becky Stilling as the Deputy Director of the Child Welfare Digital Services (CWDS) CWS-CARES project.

Ms. Stilling served as the Acting OSI Director since December 22, 2017, spending a significant amount of time in support of the CWDS effort. “Becky brings a strong passion not only for effective project management, but also particularly for the mission of what CWDS aims to achieve,” said OSI Chief Deputy Director Matt Schueller.

Ms. Stilling is a veteran technology executive with more than 20 years of experience working in the industry, including diverse experience with California state government in various leadership roles. Previously, she was appointed by Governor Brown as the Deputy Director and Chief of the California Department of Technology, Office of Statewide Project Delivery. While there, she was responsible for overseeing and guiding the planning, procurement and project execution of the state’s most complex IT projects. Prior to her work at California Department of Technology, she was the Deputy Director of the Technology Services Division and Chief Information Officer of the California Department of Child Support Services.

As part of the Office of Systems Integration, Child Welfare Digital Services is developing a modern platform and infrastructure to replace a 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.

Ms. Stilling joins Department of Social Services Deputy Director Kevin Gaines and County Welfare Directors Association Executive Liaison Penni Clarke as members of the CWS-CARES Executive Leadership Team.

Podcast: Case Management Product Owner Sonoltra Sanchez

Sonoltra Sanchez, Product Owner for the Case Management Digital Service, stopped by the CWDS media studio to discuss her role and major initiatives on the project.  


CWDS hosts CWS-CARES Co-Design Summit

On April 10 and 11 CWDS hosted its first Core County Summit. The focus was on emergency placement and developing workflows that span across each digital service. During the summit, the DesignOps team partnered with representatives from Intake, Case Management and CALS to interact and engage with over 100 core county constituents on the new CWS-CARES product. The CWS-CARES team plans to take the input gathered at the session to further develop the new product.

CWS-CARES Conducts Pilot Train-the-Trainer Session

On April 5 the CWS-CARES Implementation Training Team held a pilot train-the-trainer session for a group of Intake Core County Trainers at CWDS Headquarters. Participants included training coordinators from Butte, Fresno and Ventura counties. The 4-hour course provided an opportunity to enhance user relevance through County feedback and review of the CWS-CARES training approach and materials. The feedback collected at this session will be used to refine the training materials and provide the best learning experience for all CWS-CARES users. For more information on training and implementation activities, visit the Digital Services Implementation Portal.


CWDS Legislative Update

Child Welfare Digital Services produces a monthly report for the Legislature and stakeholders to follow as the project works to replace the CMS/CWS legacy system.

Click here to read the March 2018 report online.

Podcast: Implementation Manager Kalani Mertyris

Implementation Manager Kalani Mertyris stopped by the CWDS media studio to answer a few questions about his top priorities.   Listen to the conversation below. 

Update: CWDS All-Day Sprint Review 6.2

On April 5, CWDS conducted a same-day, multi-team sprint review to provide key project updates to stakeholders. Review the presentation slides and audio recordings for each team on our CWDS archive (The Feed). Visit our website to view upcoming CWDS events

CWS/CMS Team Critical in CWS-CARES Development

At CWDS, the project team works to ensure that the CWS-CARES products they are developing meet the needs of its customers. This is done through a variety of research and testing techniques, but most importantly through collaboration with the CWS/CMS team. This team is comprised of three groups and a vendor that specialize in current system functionality, and provide invaluable support to CWS-CARES development.

First, the Infrastructure group handles operational and technical support for the 58 CWS/CMS counties. They do this by testing readiness and connectivity in the counties and resolving technical issues when possible. They work closely with the second CWS/CMS group, the Application Development Team, which handles the development activities in support of CWS/CMS. The third group, Customer Relations, focuses on outreach support for both infrastructure and development, as well as partnering with the Implementation Team to learn how software is being introduced to the counties. After all county Implementation activities are completed, Customer Relations will continue ongoing county support needs relative to CWS CARES for each digital service. Lastly, the CWS/CMS team has specialized members dedicated to the data maintenance, integrity and integration of CWS/CMS with CWS-CARES.

The daily interaction of the CWS/CMS team with the digital and non-digital teams developing CWS-CARES is critical. Through subject matter expertise on the CWS/CMS system, they provide unique knowledge and experience on current system functionality, as well as regularly communicate CWS/CMS maintenance activities, releases, and technical upgrades to the CWS-CARES team. This helps to ensure that new CWS-CARES software is being developed to deliver maximum value to users.