On August 3, the CWDS DevOps Engineering team held a status meeting, called a “Sprint Review” to discuss their progress on the project. Watch the video below.
On July 11, CWDS held a quarterly forum for stakeholders where state and county executives provided an update on the project’s progress. Below is a chart from the slide deck highlighting past and future procurement activity starting from June, 2016. A number of contracts have been awarded this year, with more procurements scheduled. See the vendor section of our website for more details.
Cambria Solutions and Accenture Start July 2017
Child Welfare Digital Services (CWDS) has selected Cambria Solutions and Accenture from the state’s Agile Development Pre-Qualified (ADPQ) vendor pool to work on the Case Management digital service. Case Management is the largest of eight services under development to create the system that will replace the existing Child Welfare Services / Case Management System (CWS/CMS) used by county case workers across California.
The Case Management digital service will provide county child welfare agencies a comprehensive, automated case management system that fully supports effective child welfare practices, and incorporates the functional requirements mandated by federal regulations. It will provide state and county caseworkers, supervisors, staff and managers with a simple and efficient tool for maintaining a case record in a variety of situations, including: family needs assessments, court supervised or voluntary in-home services, foster care placement, family reunification services, and permanency planning services.
The project is pioneering the development and operation of cloud-based software in the public sector, following a DevOps project lifecycle rather than a traditional design, development and implementation (DDI) / maintenance and operations (M&O) model. The project is taking an innovative new approach for California state government, using agile methodologies, free/open source software (FOSS) and user-centered design.
The project’s first code release, in March 2017, came six months before the selection and award of a system integrator and two to three years before any working software would have occurred under the previous monolithic “waterfall” approach.
Berkeley-based CivicActions has been selected to provide technical consulting services for Child Welfare Digital Service (CWDS), the project announced on June 30.
CivicActions will provide six full-time staff to the project’s infrastructure team, helping provide a continuum of services and capabilities including integration, deployment, and automation. The new team members triple the project’s infrastructure engineer count from two to six, with the introduction of four new engineers, a performance analyst, and an experienced release manager who will also be the team’s Scrum Master.
CWDS is pioneering the development and operation of cloud-based software following a DevOps project lifecycle rather than a traditional design, development and implementation (DDI) / maintenance and operations (M&O) model. The project is taking an innovative new approach for California state government, using Agile methodologies, free/open source software (FOSS) and user-centered design.
The project consists of eight digital services to replace the legacy system that manages casework for county child protective services programs, foster home approvals and licensing, and other critical functions that allow case workers to protect children.
With the project’s first code release in March, teams of state staff and contractors, including designers, developers and project managers, have been working to get started under the new approach. Momentum is building as more developer teams will be hired in the coming months.
County Consultant Louis Cretaro has been selected to serve as Service Manager for the Court Processing Digital Service, CWDS announced on June 28th.
Cretaro, who currently serves on the CWDS project as a consultant for the California Welfare Directors Association, previously served as a Health and Human Service applications team supervisor in Placer County for 15 years. He will also continue to serve as a subject matter expert on the project’s interfaces team.
One of eight digital services within the CWDS project, the Court Processing Digital Service will provide state and county staff with software that allows a child welfare professional to generate, complete, submit, and record submission of proper legal notice, court reports and court results.
Working closely with county representatives and the CWS/CMS user community across the state, CWDS Service Managers lead product design and development teams to create software for the project to replace the legacy system used by case workers to help protect children in California.
Child Welfare Digital Services will host a Quarterly Stakeholder Forum on Tuesday, July 11, 2017 from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.
This all-day event will be held onsite at the CWDS campus at 2870 Gateway Oaks Drive in Sacramento as well as via video conference. The agenda will include a general session with a project update and multiple breakout sessions presented by CWDS digital service teams.
To join the main session’s WebEx instance, click this link on July 11th.
CWDS conducts monthly Solution Demonstrations to provide all stakeholders with an overview of our latest system developments. On June 19, 2017, the Intake Digital Service Team provided an update on their progress, watch the video online.
California is recruiting for a chief to lead development on one of its highest profile systems, the Child Welfare Digital Services project to replace a 20 year-old legacy system used by case workers across the state’s 58 counties. Using open source software, agile methodologies and user-centered design, the project is embarking on an innovative new approach for California state government.
“All eyes are on this demonstration project, California’s first major effort using agile methodologies which represents a fundamental shift in the way state government approaches technology,” said Office of Systems Integration Director John Boule. “A year and a half ago we abandoned the decade-old monolithic approach on this project, in favor of a modern, innovative strategy modeled after examples in the private sector and more recent success stories in the federal government.
“Case workers need modern, effective tools that allow them to spend more time in the field protecting children and less time in an office, in front of a computer,” Boule continued. “A talented development chief will appreciate our clients’ needs and drive our team to produce the highest quality replacement system.”
In November of 2015, the project changed its development strategy from the traditional “waterfall” approach to using agile methodologies which focus on iterative development cycles and a rapid feedback loop with end-users. Agile teams work in two-week sprints with daily status meetings to measure progress. The new approach includes DevOps teams, placing a strong emphasis on collaboration between network engineers, developers, business program managers and state and county subject matter experts.
“Other states are watching as we use open source code as a public good that can be freely copied by government agencies and the public at large,” said Peter Kelly, Chief Deputy Director for the Office of Systems Integration, the agency overseeing the project. “We are looking for an accomplished technology professional who can get the job done in California, and who understands the greater potential and impact of this project.”
Child Welfare Digital Services is reaching beyond California to find candidates to fill this role, classified as an official state position to oversee all application development activities on the project. More details on the Development Chief position can be found here.
The project consists of eight digital services to replace the legacy system that manages casework for county child protective services programs, foster home approvals and licensing, and other critical functions that allow case workers to protect children. With the project’s first code release in March, teams of state staff and contractors, including designers, developers and project managers, have been working to get started under the new approach. Momentum is building as more developer teams will be hired in the coming months.
The effort to replace the legacy CWS/CMS system began in 2004 with the Go Forward Plan to modernize the system, leading to the CWS Web project, approved in 2006. The California Legislature suspended the project in 2011, due to budget constraints, and required a study of CWS/CMS to answer specific question related to the existing system and approaches to address missing functionality. The Child Welfare Services – New System (CWS-NS) project received budget approval to move forward in July 2012.
The CWDS Implementation Team recently invited over 300 CWDS stakeholders to attend one of seven “CWDS Implementation Overview” meet-and-greet sessions. Those notified included Child Welfare Services and Probation Single Points of Contact (SPOCs), Technical Contacts, and Training Contacts from all 58 California counties, Kurok and Yurok Tribe contacts, CWS/CMS Regional User Group Chairs, and 6 CWS/CMS training academies.
The CWDS Implementation Team conducted the seven sessions during the week of May 29. The purpose was to share high-level information about the implementation approach, identify some of the activities involved during implementation readiness, and provide a way for the participants to contact us and access project materials. The agenda specifically covered the following topics:
- What is Implementation?
- Why is Implementation Important?
- How do we Communicate?
- How can you Prepare for Implementation?
- What’s Next?
- How to Contact Us
In all, we had over 75 participants who officially RSVP’d and many more who called in at their convenience. Thirty-seven counties were represented along with three RTAs. During the sessions, the CWDS Implementation Team received questions; most of which fall into the categories below:
- System training/Training-the-Trainer (TTT)/Staff or End-User Training.
- More information about the Contractor Implementation Lead (IL) who will support each “Org” (which is the general name for the entities receiving implementation services).
- Implementation dates and timeframes.
- Access to the PPT used during the sessions and the recordings of each of the 7 sessions.
Coming Soon: The CWDS Implementation Team will post the presentation, all 7 of the recorded sessions, and the full Q&A list to the Implementation Portal in the next couple of weeks. Remember that a CWS/CMS User Login is needed to access the Implementation Portal.
- Go to the Implementation Management Portal area and click on Communication
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.
Read the May 2017 report online: CWDS Update May 2017