INFO MEMO 97-02 

FEBRUARY 17, 1997

Department of Health and Family Services
Division of Children and Family Services

To: Area Administrators/Assistant Area Administrators
Bureau Directors
County Departments of Community Programs Directors
County Departments of Developmental Disabilities Directors
County Departments of Human Services Directors
County Departments of Social Services Directors
Program Office Directors/Section Chiefs
Tribal Chairpersons/Human Services Facilitators
From: Susan N. Dreyfus, Administrator
Re: State of Wisconsin--Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information System

 Since 1995, the State of Wisconsin in partnership with Sheboygan, Waukesha, Racine, Kenosha and Dane counties has been engaged in planning for a Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information System (SACWIS). This planning has been funded by combined federal, state and county funds. County access to this comprehensive PC-based case management tool will allow Wisconsin to join other states in assuring consistent positive outcomes for children and families in the Child Welfare System. Having flexible automation at the lead level will allow you the ability to make management decisions with county specific information.

The five pilot counties and the Department of Health and Family Services have completed an initial business area analysis and have reviewed several systems from across the country. They have also helped with the writing of the RFP for automation in Milwaukee County and will be active participants in the development and testing. This hands on county involvement assures that we will develop a flexible, cost effective SACWIS system for Wisconsin. We are completing analysis and preparing for final design and implementation in Milwaukee County which will serve as our first implementation site. We hope to add one additional rural county to our pilot counties and to implement the system in those counties beginning in 1999 with other Wisconsin counties to follow.

In order to assure ongoing federal funding for our continued planning and implementation efforts, we must, at the request of the federal government, notify all 72 Wisconsin counties that the State of Wisconsin will not be allowed to support with either state or federal funds, any new child welfare automation or system enhancements other than the Wisconsin SACWIS system. Throughout 1997, the State and the pilot counties will work together to garner the support and active involvement of all Wisconsin counties in order to develop a implementation schedule for the state. We assure you consistent and timely communications during this ongoing planning process as well as caseworker and management staff access and input to the system as it is being developed.

For your information, I have attached an excerpt from our Milwaukee County automation RFP which provides an overview of the deliverables we are expecting. In order for us to be successful, your active participation in completion of the planning process throughout 1997 is critical. You will be contacted soon by one of the pilot counties regarding this effort. I am also attaching a list of the pilot counties with the name, address, phone and fax numbers of representatives you can contact directly.

As we move into the next century it is critical that we be proactive in developing the tools and policies that Child Welfare professionals across the state need in order to continue to best serve children and their families. Your support of our efforts is appreciated.

1 West Wilson Street 
P. O. Box 8916
Madison, Wisconsin 53708-8916
(608) 267-3905


The Department of Children and Families, protecting children, strengthening families, building communities.