How Child Service Agencies are Tapping into the Mobile App Explosion

Sep 15, 2016 | by Victor Shilo

Now that smartphones are the most widely used tool for navigating important life activities (nearly two thirds of Americans own one[1]), there’s pretty much an app for everything these days. That on-the-go accessibility is also crossing over into the government space with state, local and federal agencies quickly learning that mobile technology provides an easy way to connect with the public and empower government employees.

But that’s not all. Many agencies are pushing app technology to new levels by using apps to ease the burden of providing critical government services.

Mobile Apps are Raising the Bar for Child and Family Services

Health and human services agencies, for example, are increasingly looking to mobile technology to enable their mission and solve problems. Take the Washington D.C. Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA), for example. CFSA is responsible for protecting child victims and those at risk of abuse and neglect and assisting their families. Within the past few years, CFSA deployed a mobile app with real-time access to and from their case management system (CMS) via APIs that boosts caseworker efficiency and provides foster families with critical information about their child at their fingertips.  

Breaking Down the Barriers to Technology Change

But mobility doesn’t come without its challenges.

With change comes resistance. For budgetary reasons, government agencies are frequently married to their existing systems and not yet ready to change how they operate. Seeing data represented in new ways, however intuitive and convenient, is often met with skepticism.

Because of these entrenched cultures and ways of doing things, many government agencies are often wary about realizing the advantage that new technologies bring. While cloud computing mandates and mobility policies have begun to change this, forward-thinking agencies, including CFSA, are deliberately looking to technology to solve their problems first, even when it’s not mandated.

It’s a trend that many in local government are embracing. Spurred on by their mission to deliver quality service, they know that technology is an enabler. But at the same time it’s not just about IT. Smart agencies are also looking to foster internal cultures that support the transformation that technology enables.  

The Question of App Security

With a change in technology, and particularly, a shift to mobile apps, concerns over security must also be addressed. In CFSA’s case, where very sensitive data about child victims of abuse and neglect is at play, providing the right access to the right people was a key requirement. iSee checked this box with a multi-layered security approach. HIPPA compliance, permission-based access, integrated third-party security, encryption, password protection, biometrics, and more, are all engineered into iSee to ensure it checks CFSA’s rigorous security requirements.

Get Help with your Mobile App Transformation Strategy

With consumers turning to their mobile devices to enhance their daily lives, the app explosion offers many opportunities for the public sector and child service agencies, in particular, to increase efficiencies and speed of service, while empowering staff, citizens, and foster communities. Whatever your data challenges or platform you’re catering to (iOS, Windows, Android), EastBanc Technologies and iSee can help your agency un-tap the vast potential in enterprise mobile apps.

[1]  US Smartphone Use in 2015