Child Welfare Digital Services (CWDS) occupies a campus in Sacramento that we have expressly built to maximize collaboration and reduce costs. CWDS worked with the California Department of General Services Real Estate Leasing and Planning Section to design a workspace that would be conducive to the needs of agile development teams at equal or lower cost than traditional office build-outs.
When we started organizing CWDS, we decided that one of the really important barriers we had to overcome is that staff don’t collaborate in the public sector the way they do in the private sector. So we had to look at the environment: our office. People need to have the mobility to move around and participate in conversations, participate in working design sessions, and be able to carve out time for themselves to do their own personal work.
One of the things I really want our organization to do is to own its own destiny. We put together a design team and we asked them to come up with ideas. They chose “innovation” and “fun” as themes. For our big collaborative work spaces, they selected the names of famous innovators such as Nicola Tesla and others who we thought had done something amazing. They also recognized that we need to have fun in the workplace. So it is this mixture of serious innovation and serious fun.
I see that conversation is occurring as a part of the natural dynamics every day. That makes me think we are on the right path to collaboration and increased productivity as a mainstay of our workspace.
About the Author: Peter Kelly is Chief Deputy Director for the Office of Systems Integration.
Child Welfare Digital Services (CWDS) executives provided an update on the project on April 20 in the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee #3 on Health and Human Services. Watch the video below, see the hearing agenda here.
The California Department of Technology has announced the selection of 13 vendors who are now part of the State’s expanded Agile Development Pre-Qualified (ADPQ) vendor pool. Along with 11 companies that were previously selected in 2016 when the vendor pool was initially created, there are now 24 vendors eligible to bid on opportunities for agile and user-centered design services. Read more about the establishment of the ADPQ vendor pool on our website: https://cwds.ca.gov/vendors.
While CWDS has been the first state organization to use the vendor pool for the development of the Child Welfare Services – New System (CWS-NS) project, CDT expanded the pool to increase competition and allow all state agencies and departments to use it. Read the Notification of Selection here.
On Monday, April 17, Child Welfare Digital Services (CWDS) and the California Office of Systems Integration (OSI) hosted the first in a series of brown bag lunches intended to share expertise and experiences with agile software development with State of California employees. Our first guest speaker was Laura Bell, co-author of Agile Application Security and founder of SafeStack, a company focused on agile application security services. Ms. Bell discussed a range of security tools and techniques specifically adapted to integrate with agile development. These practices aim to raise security awareness and confidence without compromising innovation, complexity, and speed.
As part of an overall strategy to help counties prepare to transition from the legacy Child Welfare Services/Case Management System, Child Welfare Digital Services (CWDS) will be releasing four solicitations for implementation services, including organizational change management, training development, training delivery and implementation services.
Since January 2017, OnCore Consulting has been the implementation contractor for Intake Services, one of the five digital services within CWDS.
Rather than procuring services of another single vendor to cover implementation in its entirety for the remaining digital services, CWDS will release four separate RFOs for the following disciplines of work:
Implementation Services: Plans, manages, and oversees all implementation through coordination, communication, and readiness activities. Provides schedule management for implementation-specific activities at project, state, county, and tribal levels and includes Organizational Change Management (OCM), Training Development and Training Delivery Contractors.
OCM: Develops, delivers and maintains OCM materials, reviews and updates existing OCM templates and OCM processes.
Training Development: Analyzes, designs, develops, maintains, and updates a complete system training program suitable for a physical and virtual training environment.
Training Delivery: Plans, prepares, evaluates, schedules, and delivers Train-the-Trainer training to approximately 250 state, county, and Regional Training Academy staff at least once a quarter or for a major release based on the materials provided by the Training Development Contractor.
Splitting traditional implementation services over four contracts allows vendors to provide services in their areas of expertise. If a vendor submits an offer for one solicitation, the offer does not preclude that vendor from submitting on the other solicitations. The successful vendor(s) will assist with the implementation of Digital Services such as CALS and Case Management, of which the user community consists of over 25,000 county and state staff.
Counties will continue to have one point of contact within CWDS for all implementation activities and services.
CWDS Digital Services Director Kevin Gaines and Project Director Tony Fortenberry shared our vision and our progress at the Quarterly Stakeholder Forum, held at the CWDS campus and via WebEx web conference on Tuesday, April 11. Intake Digital Service Manager, Wendy Christian, and Intake Product Owner, Jeff Dent followed with a demonstration of the “sandbox” that is being made available to core county users.
Three separate breakout sessions in the afternoon allowed participants to attend the area that interested them most for a more in-depth look at our progress. Participants chose from these:
At today’s Quarterly Stakeholder Forum, Intake Digital Service Manager Wendy Christian and Intake Product Owner Jeff Dent gave a demonstration of the newly created “sandbox” that will help voluntary county users better understand new functionality of the intake module, as developers and designers continue to iterate on versions of the new system. The standalone sandbox uses test data to give users a sense of workflow and usability, without any security risks.
The Intake Module covers the spectrum of Emergency Response – from the time a report of child abuse comes into the hotline through the work done by a CPS social worker to investigate these allegations of child abuse and neglect.
Key slides from the presentation are below, stay tuned for more details. The video archive of today’s session will be posted soon.
Child Welfare Digital Services is currently recruiting to fill the position of Product Owner, a key role on the Certification, Approval, and Licensing Services (CALS) team that will help manage the design and development team to create the new module to support the regulation of foster care homes in California.
As a Product Owner working on California’s first major technology project using Agile methodology, you will work in an innovative, high-energy environment, collaborating with designers, developers, and other team members across the project to replace the legacy child welfare system.
Led by user-centered design principles, the Product Owner works directly with the Digital Service Manager to set the vision and priority for software development for CALS.
The Child Welfare Digital Services program, as part of the Office of Systems Integration offers free parking, in close proximity to downtown Sacramento (in the South Natomas area), an Agile working environment, a newly refurbished and innovative office space and working environment and a challenging opportunity to be part of an exciting program and team. Click here to apply!
As a 20-year veteran working in the child welfare system in Sacramento County, Wendy Christian is leading the Intake Module solution to create a system that will streamline the Child Protective Services hotline and investigations processes. The Intake Module covers the spectrum of Emergency Response – from the time a report of child abuse comes into the hotline through the work done by a CPS social worker to investigate these allegations of child abuse and neglect.
At CWDS as Intake Service Manager, Wendy and her team are working with county users across the state to create the most effective interface to streamline workflow. To date, project staff have conducted more than 300 interviews with county workers to help iterate and refine versions. In the video below, she describes her work on the new system.