Raising the Bar for Child and Family Services

DC Child and Family Services Agency Leverage Big Data to Improve Caseworker Efficiency and Increase Service Speed.

The Challenge  

The DC Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA) is the public child welfare agency in the District of Columbia responsible for protecting child victims and those at risk of abuse and neglect and assisting their families. As such, CFSA stores a range of sensitive data about children and their families from an array of sources, including medical, law enforcement, and school records. 

CFSA employs around 260 caseworkers who spend many hours each day visiting children, families, and other stakeholders in the metropolitan Washington D.C. area. The agency works with approximately 1,500 families and around 1,000 children who are currently in foster care. 

CFSA relied on a central, office-based database to handle case management and access to data (such as observations, child and family history, medical history, education data, and court information), but a large percentage of a caseworker’s day typically occurs outside of the office at appointments and hearings. 

On a typical day, DC CFSA caseworkers have anywhere from two to four appointments with children and families across the DC area. As they move from appointment to appointment in the field, caseworkers lack access to the critical data they need and are unable to search for or enter actionable information in the database. Instead, they had to make a trip back to the office to manually input the day’s notes and observations – a tedious and time-consuming task. 


The Solution  

With these challenges in mind, CFSA approached EastBanc Technologies and was introduced to the iSee for Caseworkers. 

iSee is a powerful mobile application that allows caseworkers to act upon data in real-time and address immediate issues before they escalate. With iSee, caseworkers can securely access and enter data in real-time from any device or location. Caseworkers can now access, edit, and enter observations, notes, and data throughout the day using iOS and Android devices. Information is transparent and quickly available. 

iSee features and benefits: 

Complexity Made Simple– iSee works by leveraging an API to quickly draw on relevant and timely data from multiple sources across child and family service agencies, including databases and disparate workflows. 

Access Relevant Data Powered by GPS- With iSee caseworkers can choose to receive case information that is most relevant to them based on custom configurations such as location, priority, or schedule. Daily appointments can be sorted by distance and routes can be quickly planned and accessed via Google or Apple Maps. 

Smart Tools Deliver Convenience– iSee offers several smart tools that drive greater efficiencies. Users get push notification reminders for important events and can send instant messages with the option to save and archive conversations directly within the app. In addition, caseworkers can take pictures of their clients and documentation from their mobile phones and immediately upload them to the database. 

Controlled Access– iSee ensures that caseworkers only have access to the data appropriate to them 

Security is Paramount– iSee is engineered with security in mind. On the front-end, CFSA users access account and case information through integrated third-party security and management solutions optimized for mobile devices (Layer 7, 3scale, Azure API Management). Additional layers of security, including encryption and custom policies (password protection and biometrics), can also be added.  

Data-Entry on the Go– Any changes to case data made in the field are seamlessly saved to the database in real-time and made available for review by caseworkers quickly and transparently. 

Access, Even Offline – With iSee CFSA has access to its database anytime, anywhere. With a swipe of the finger, personnel can access up-to-the-minute information about each case. Patchy connections don’t get in the way of iSee either. iSee can be modified to ensure that each mobile device is cached and updated, delivering important information such as the day’s most pertinent appointments, even without an Internet connection.  


The Result  

With iSee for Caseworkers, CFSA now gets critical medical, law enforcement, education, and other information to caseworkers securely and in real-time, regardless of location or device, making data accessible in ways that match today’s mobile workday. 

The benefits to caseworkers and ultimately the clients they serve are substantial. 

The app has been well received by the caseworkers, and many who regularly use it have reported productivity gains of two hours per week. 

Caseworkers no longer have to make a trip back to the office to update their notes, saving time and increasing the accuracy of the data since it can be entered while it’s still fresh in their minds. Most importantly, caseworkers are now able to improve response times for their clients, solving issues before they become larger problems. 

In addition, EastBanc Technologies developed a map feature within the application that locates and navigates caseworkers to the nearest gas station that accepts agency gas cards, saving both time and additional gas resources. 

With iSee, CFSA caseworkers can more efficiently and effectively meet their mission to make children safer and families stronger.