Case Study: Delivering Better Services to Families in Need
A state’s Department of Public Welfare wanted to improve the delivery of subsidized child care. The state determined it needed a centralized system that would administer child care resources and referrals as well as subsidized child care for both the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Low Income programs.
To meet these needs, and to reduce labor-intensive, error-prone processing, as well as create a superior user experience, the state worked with Deloitte Consulting LLP to design and implement a Child Care Management Information System (CCMIS).
The expectations for the new system included the following key elements:
As with any large project, there were difficulties during the development and implementation of the CCMIS. Combining two different offices into one and coordinating their policies presented organizational challenges. This was further complicated by the inclusion of 59 separate business partners who contract with the Office of Child Development to manage the service dollars for subsidized child care across the state.
In addition, the regulations for subsidized child care, which the CCMIS was being built to support, dramatically changed during the design and implementation of the third release. Training for the third release of CCMIS also had a heavy policy component requiring that the 59 business partners not only master a new system but accept a core change in the way they served clients.
Despite these challenges, the CCMIS was able to meet its goals by making use of the appropriate technologies and designing capabilities to specifically address those goals.
The following tightly integrated functions were incorporated in the CCMIS design:
Today, the CCMIS is a flexible, scalable, comprehensive solution for children’s services across the state, using modular frameworks and the latest Web technologies. It already helps manage child care subsidies for nearly 70,000 children of low income families on a daily basis, providing child care information to the general public as well as the child care provider community. With the addition of child care management for TANF in 2006-07, there will be an additional 33,000 children whose child care will be managed by the CCMIS.
The CCMIS has also allowed the Department of Public Welfare’s Office of Child Development to consolidate the business processes and information systems program of the 59 child care information services. Clients are no longer regularly required to complete duplicate copies of paperwork for each office; the information is stored centrally and accessed through the CCMIS, allowing data sharing. In addition, clients are able to receive comprehensive information on available child care services more quickly. as each county office can provide referrals to providers anywhere in the state. Clients also receive continuity of child care services as the CCMIS automates the majority of steps in the county-to-county and office-to-office transfer process.
At the same time, the CCMIS providers enjoy greater consistency, and less effort is required to receive subsidy payment because the invoicing process has been standardized. Providers and clients also receive consistent and predictable correspondence, as most communication is now issued through the CCMIS in a standardized format.
Overall, the CCMIS has resulted in better service and support to families in need.
Related Content: Research: The New World of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families