Automated system protects children and adults.
One of the nation’s leading-edge efforts to better protect children and adults at risk successfully completed its design and initial testing and is now entering its final phase in Texas, where more than 175,000 reports of abuse and neglect are investigated each year.
The new system, which is called CAPS (Child and Adult Protective System), provides the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services instant information to help protect the lives and reduce potential abuse of its citizens.
Through the year 1998, the state’s automation initiative will help free up approximately $33.3 million as well as more than 200,000 manual hours to be focused on direct work with citizens, rather than on administration and paperwork.
As the first phase of one of the largest child and adult welfare automation projects in the nation, the department, working with Andersen Consulting, Chicago, equipped 282 local offices statewide with more than 6,000 workstations including basic office automation tools – such as e-mail and electronic spreadsheets – in six months. Now, it is training more than 6,000 workers on CAPS, which will be fully implemented and online this month.
The CAPS system is the case management component of Texas’s automation initiative, and it is one of the nation’s first statewide automated child and adult welfare systems.
Each year, Texas caseworkers make decisions that affect the lives of more than 900,000 children, families and adults. Poor decisions can result in tragic consequences, such as the death of a vulnerable child or the unnecessary break-up of a family.
Thus, caseworkers, decisions depend on current, accurate and easily accessible information about client case records, service providers and policies. CAPS puts that information at the fingertips of caseworkers to facilitate timely, informed decisions while preventing cases from falling through the cracks of already overburdened local offices.
In an environment of increasing case loads, CAPS makes it easier for employees to quickly locate vital details tails about clients and perpetrators – their histories and patterns of behavior – and share information with colleagues leagues throughout the state. CAPS enables caseworkers to access a variety of previously paper-based records related to foster care providers, day care operators and others, including critical data on criminal convictions and child abuse allegations.
“CAPS is a tool to help state care givers make informed decisions on behalf half of children, adults and the families we serve,” says Maurine Dickey, chairman of the Protective and Regulatory Services Board of Directors. “Employees tell us that office automation has already made them more productive and improved client service. Through CAPS, we will improve the quality and consistency of our work in spite of the limited resources that plague all government agencies.”
Now, other state officials, agency heads and state caregivers can electronically tour CAPS with an interactive diskette that graphically represents the advantages Texas will gain through the new system.
Although CAPS was built for Texas, the solution can be transferred to other states.
The diskette, titledEnabling the Human Touch Through Technology” is available by calling (312) 507-5033 ext. 3. System requirements for the diskette include Windows V3.1 486 VGA graphics, 4MB RAM, 5 MB free disk space and 4 MB swap file. Instructions to run the disk appear on the disk jacket.