Comprehensive Review of Florida’s Child Abuse Hotline
As part of the Florida Department of Children and Families’ (DCF) transformation and modernization project, WRMA performed a comprehensive study of the state’s child abuse hotline operations, structure, and technologies. The study included documentation of as-is business processes, staff structures, information technology, facilities, telephone equipment, budgets, and performance metrics.
The team analyzed the hotline’s laws, policies, procedures, budgets, technical documents, and operating manuals. WRMA conducted interviews with all levels of department staff and facilitated a summit meeting with Florida child protection investigators and sheriff’s offices. WRMA used established benchmarks and provided information from other states, including best practices, technology, and market scans.
Based on the analysis, WRMA proposed revamping all aspects of the abuse hotline. WRMA provided a comprehensive plan, addressing all aspects of the hotline with detailed short- and long-term improvements including:
- Creating enhanced accessibility for contacts with a balanced focus on effective outcomes.
- Eliminating overlapping and ineffective computer systems and workflows.
- Improving down-stream effectiveness of the hotline products.
- Mitigating operational and technology risks.
- Improving efficiency of staff utilization and effectiveness.
- Streamlining processes to make better, more informed, and more consistent decisions.
- Enhancing information availability and usability.
- Providing a benefits analysis of tangible and intangible benefits to the department and to the vulnerable citizens of Florida.
DCF accepted and implemented WRMA’s recommendations, resulting in a completely rebuilt hotline organization and infrastructure. WRMA’s recommendations were also used to garner legislative support, budget allocation, and bid requests for modernized equipment and software and staff restructuring.
Delivery of Florida’s Integrated Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information System
Florida Safe Families Network (FSFN) was a large, multi-year project that resulted in WRMA designing, developing, and implementing a fully integrated statewide automated child welfare information system (SACWIS).
The project’s major objective was to provide DCF workers and service delivery partners with a system that would support local service delivery improvements and report outcomes for children and families. WRMA’s solution was designed for use by the more than 7,000 state, sheriffs’ department, and community-based staff on a day-to-day basis. WRMA’s team of business and technical professionals supported the design, development, and implementation of the robust SACWIS for Florida with these key outcomes and accomplishments:
- Requirements review and validation
- System design to support business practice and SACWIS compliance
- Application technical design and development
- Component, integration, usability, system, user acceptance, and readiness testing
- Data dictionary
- Training materials to support state trainers and ongoing e-learning content for end users
- Disaster recovery services
- Hardware and software analysis
- Procurement specification
- Deployment solution support
The system provided DCF workers and service delivery partners with a way to support local service delivery improvements and report outcomes for children and families under four core modules that addressed fundamental child welfare business processes:
- Service management: Encompassed individual and family demographics; family assessments; and the planning, arrangement, delivery, and monitoring of services.
- Provider management: Included the registration, training, contracting, and relationship maintenance activities undertaken with service vendors.
- Financial management: Included payment, disbursements, budgeting, trust account maintenance, client eligibility tracking, and reimbursement activities.
- Staff management: Supported assigning work, tracking staff-supervisor relationships, and documenting staff training.
The system achieved additional objectives, such as:
- Enabling service providers and case workers to collaboratively work toward providing children with safe, stable, and well-matched placements.
- Assisting DCF with tracking its progress against goal achievement by compiling and reporting data for comparison, analysis, and outcome evaluation.
- Providing information DCF and community-based organizations needed to improve their operations and programs.
- Providing access to case records so supervisors could examine their workers’ cases to validate completeness and quality and mentor their staff.
WRMA also provided support for end-user training, including user documentation, web-based training, classroom curriculums, and help guides. Additionally, WRMA supported the state’s Train-the-Trainer program.
Florida Management Consulting Services Award
In 2020, WRMA received a Notice of Intent to Award by Florida’s Department of Management Services in eight management consulting areas:
- Consulting on management strategy
- Project management
- Program research, planning, and evaluations
- Provision of studies, analyses, scenarios, and reports
- Assistance with policy and regulation development
- Assistance with process and productivity improvement
- Advisory and assistance services relating to a customer’s mission-oriented business programs or initiatives
- Systems alignment and consolidation