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DHS News Newsletter June 2009 

Caseworkers, providers, others to benefit from KIDS Release 2

June 2009

As of June 8, caseworkers, call screeners, intake workers, resource coordinators and supervisors of the DHS Office of Children, Youth and Families (CYF) as well as DHS-contracted CYF providers have access to new features of the Key Information Demographics System (KIDS) application.
Until now, CYF has been using the functionality of KIDS to record and track information and outcomes related to CYF intake calls and subsequent
related investigations.

The DHS Office of Information Management (OIM) has continued to work since the first release of KIDS went live in August 2008, adding new features to further accomplish the goals of KIDS.

The goals are:

  • Reducing paperwork and the faxing and mailing of hard copy documents
  • Providing caseworkers and providers with greater and easier access to case records and information 
  • Reducing the duplication in gathering and entering data 
  • Leading to greater coordination of service delivery
  • Generating more timely notification of approvals, critical dates and reauthorizations
  • Providing more defensible data about service delivery and outcomes.

KIDS Release 2 (KIDS R2) broadens the KIDS application to include the ability for authorized individuals to record, edit, search and retrieve files concerning clients’ demographic information, as well as abscondence, employment, education and health status.

KIDS R2 also provides an accessible method to keep all authorized individu¬als, including providers of services, aware of what services are needed by clients, what services are being provided to clients and whether the desired outcomes are being achieved. Whether the services provided to a family at risk of child abuse and/or neglect are placement or non-placement services, done in-home or out-of-home, or are the result of a professional or self-referral, all information related to a family’s use of those services can be documented, updated and managed using KIDS R2.

Consolidating existing online services

Online service request systems have fulfilled an important role in the keeping children safe and supported. Using online service request systems, individuals in need of services, including placement opportunities, can “meet” providers of those services.
KIDS R2 consolidates two existing online service request systems – the in-home services referral system and the placement referral system. Providers can view the new KIDS online service request systems electronically and apply electronically to be a provider of services for the family. If chosen by the CYF caseworker and/or family, the provider is given access to applicable information about the family through KIDS.

Keeping communication open

Keeping communication open between caseworkers and providers is a critical part of preserving the safety and security of children. In September 2009, KIDS R2 will expand to allow providers to exchange information electronically with caseworkers and view case information within the application instead of relying on faxes as they do today. The man¬dated business practices of safety and risk assessments; safety plans; family service plans; child permanency plans; and routine, periodic assessments of a family’s progress done by caseworkers, which are all currently completed by caseworkers in KIDS R2, will then be accessible to authorized providers.

Transitioning to paperless

The work leading up to KIDS R2 also included loading data from the CYF Mainframe into KIDS. Information related to all active CYF cases and all recently inactive (since October 2008) CYF cases is now a part of the data available electronically (and confidentially) to authorized users. While some paper records still exist for these cases, this is an important step in the transition to a paperless child welfare system.

The future

Future releases of KIDS will expand the system to support the adoption and guardianship business process, to facilitate the exchange of information with the local court system, and ultimately to support the fiscal component of CYF.
Watch for more information about KIDS in upcoming issues of DHS News.


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