So as much as I'd love to discuss the details of Panoramic software, there is little to no information about the functions of the public guardian public conservator software. So instead I will be discussing the issues with the child welfare database CWS/CMS.
The child welfare services agency in California has a large central database where they store information about the children's' cases and generate documents. This large system handles all the data from California's 58 counties. The program was introduced around 1980s in an effort to shift heavy case loads from paper files to electronic files. At the first time it was implemented, there were many issues with the software crashing and slowing down, but as the years passed it became more manageable and quicker.
The CWS/CMS system has many features with over 800 pages that help case workers manage their cases, input data, prepare files for court, and organize notes about the children and the parent's progress. The system is supposed to help county employees research and pull data from other counties should parents and children move. from one county to another. Rather than using snail mail or having to send paperwork requesting transfer of data, the CWS/CMS system allows case workers to directly pull data at their convenience (Child Welfare History Snapshot). The system also has forms that help auto-generate court documents or case plans to reduce the amount of work case workers need to do. Rather than writing a new case plan or court report each time a new one is needed, they can impute the family information and the system will auto-generate the needed document. The system also
Despite all of these purported benefits, many case workers and data control assessors have found issues with the CWS/CMS system. The first and most common complaint about the system is how slow it is and how it causes massive case delays. The system was implemented around 1990s and has not been updated since so the massive data transfer can cause crashes and significant delays.
Most case workers would rather spend their time on helping the children and families on a more personal basis rather than just imputing data and preparing forms.
A lack of computer skills, compounded by the complexity of the CWS/CMS system adds additional demands for overtime. d. Social workers are often required to navigate through multiple pages within the caseload management system exceeding 800 computer screens.
The inflexibility of the CWS/CMS system software programs creates a condition whereby social workers frequently input inaccurate data in order to satisfy program requirements.
The lack of timely CWS/CMS technical problem response from Boulder, Colorado, often interferes with meeting the time constraints demanded by the system for data collection and mandatory reporting. g. Many social workers do not feel confident
Implementation of the CWS/CMS system for case management causes a hardship on the social workers, such as: a. Many of the social workers spend 50-70 percent of their time performing administrative duties, including travel, preventing them from giving attention to the needs of the children in their care. This condition is a major contributor to the need for overtime hours.
As you can see just the control panel alone has many complicated entries and icons that take a lot of time to learn how to navigate. I hope in the real software they have descriptions for each one because that looks really confusing.
And also to add they have a software for structured decision making which helps case workers with whether to move forward with cases. In addition to the CWS/CMS software, they have word documents where they prepare court reports and case plans. The CWS/CMS software is aligned to auto-generate word documents, but I am sure that the case workers have to review the word documents to ensure that everything properly translates over from CMS.
Because of all of these issues and the fact that the CWS/CMS system is a fairly old data base the agency that manages CWS online software, Child Welfare Digital Services has developed and introduced a new version of the CMS system. They call it CWS Cares. They boost that this new software is much quicker than the old version, helps locate data faster than before, and should have less crashes and system delays. I believe planning to implement it was introduced in 2018. We shall see how this compares to the old one and if it is any improvement over the current one.
Juvenile Dependency and
Juvenile Dependency Court
2851 Meadow Lark Drive Dpt 10
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (858) 634-1600
San Diego Central Courthouse
1100 Union St
San Diego, California 92101
Phone: (619) 844-2700
Office of the Public Conservator
5560 Overland Ave Ste 130
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (858) 694-3500 ext 2