Sometimes, all an organization needs is a little organization! This was the case for Michigan’s Departments of Community Health, DHS, and Education. In 1994, these organizations came together to form the Systems Reform Task Force with a primary goal to, “achieve better results for multigenerational families who receive services across multiple human service and educational systems.” The task force recognized the need for improved technology to simplify administrative processes, improved communication across systems, and reduced barriers to services for families. Specifically, children under DHS supervision frequently needed services across multiple systems.
Although agencies were working together to serve clients, the systems in use lacked the technology to easily share necessary information to provide the appropriate level of integrated case management. Thus, the need for a better system was imperative not only to streamline efforts between the agencies, but to also meet new federal requirements for reporting child welfare data. DHS sought an MIS known as Juvenile Justice Online Technology (JJOLT) to support its needs.
Specifically, DHS needed a system with advanced capabilities including an automated case management module including assessment, screening, case planning, monitoring, and billing components for juvenile justice. The system was later expanded to include electronic case management for DHS child welfare staff, family courts, prosecutors, and private contracted service providers.
FAMCare was able to provide all the features DHS needed. JJOLT is accessed through the Internet, requiring little installation at state or contracted facilities, saving the state significant time and money for implementation, operation, and future modifications. In fact, DHS uses JJOLT as an electronic case management structure with juvenile justice line staff, intake workers and treatment staff, health care providers, and teachers in DHS facilities. This allows DHS to track placements to, data reporting by, and auditing of contracted private agencies. DHS administrators use JJOLT for program planning and fiscal and program accountability.
Effective case management should cross multiple agency and system boundaries, resulting in better service coordination and accountability. Real-time data collection and communication support effective case management, and a statewide MIS that links family courts, county services, private agencies, and other service providers allows this communication and effective decision making to occur. “This collaboration will have a lasting contribution in our communities to reduce juvenile crime,” Gardner says. “As we have more information about children who are at risk, we can do our jobs better to help them get back on their feet and become productive citizens.”
If you want more control and efficiency built into your case management system but think your options are very limited, then check out our UNOFFICIAL Guide to Nonprofit "Electronic" Case Management HERE .