Wisconsin Department of Children and Families

Protecting Children, Strengthening Families, Building Communities

 

 

Child Welfare Info System(s) Updates

Child Welfare practice and technology has changed considerably since 1993 when the federal government published the existing regulations for states developing and maintaining a Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information System (SACWIS). The federal government has developed new guidelines describing Comprehensive Child Welfare Information System (CCWIS) requirements. It will allow states to transition their current system or develop a new system to become compliant. Stay-tuned for more information about the outcome of our eWiSACWIS review and the potential changes to become a CCWIS compliant child welfare system.

 

eWiSACWIS - electronic Wisconsin Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information System is the current system used in Wisconsin.

CCWIS - Comprehensive Child Welfare Information System

eWiSACWIS Modernization - December Release

eWiSACWIS is currently undergoing a modernization effort upgrading the user interface of the application, as well as eliminating the dependency on Internet Explorer and Microsoft Word for template creation. You will notice that some pages in the system will look different. Since both the current technology and the updated technology can coexist, the plan is to implement these upgrades incrementally in phases. Below is information about this effort that you need to know.

What is being upgraded and why?

Application Pages

The online pages users see and interact with are being upgraded to the latest version of HTML5.

Currently eWiSACWIS is only compatible with Microsoft Internet Explorer. Since Microsoft has announced that Internet Explorer 11 is the final version Microsoft will release, the application needs to be upgraded to work with other browsers. When this modernization effort is completed, the application will be compatible with other internet browsers. Additionally, this upgrade will take advantage of responsive design that will allow the application to adapt to smaller screens on mobile devices.

Templates

The OCX component (ActiveX) eWiSACWIS currently uses to generate templates and notifications in the system only works with the Internet Explorer browser. No other browsers support this deprecated technology. As a result, eWiSACWIS will be replacing the OCX component with newer technology for document generation.

What are the benefits of the upgrades?

There have been on-going county concerns about being limited to Internet Explorer and having to install the OCX (ActiveX) on individual computers in order to support the current template processing. This modernization effort addresses those concerns. Once the upgrades are completed for the entire system, eWiSACWIS will be compatible with various modern internet browsers and counties will no longer need to install the OCX.

Modernizing the application to the HTML5 standards will provide a responsive user experience that is optimized for tablets.

When will we see the changes?

Beginning with the December release, users will see the more modern look and feel. Some documents will use the new BIRT technology rather than launching Microsoft Word.

Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools (BIRT) is an open source technology platform used to create data visualizations and reports that can be embedded into rich client and web applications.

It is expected that additional system pages and/or documents will be modernized incrementally in phases.

What are the specific technology changes we will see in the December release?

In the December release users will notice the following changes. View the New Desktop Comparison video to learn more about the December updates.

Desktop

The new Desktop will be the most prominent change users will notice. Not only is the technology being upgraded, but the design of the Desktop is changing as well.

In February, we began a new design process called User-Centered Design to create a new look and feel for the Desktop based on input from users. We heard loud and clear that users want quick access to what they need when they need it.

While the core functionality users have today for accessing work such as Access Reports, Cases, Providers, Approvals, and Tasks will still be available, it has been redesigned from a user-centered perspective that is expected to provide software improvements both technically and for maximizing worker efficiency.

Select Application Page Migration

The Search, Case Note, Structured Case Note (including Person Management only when launched from this page), Provider Note, Create Case Work, and Create Provider Work pages will be migrated to the new technology.

While the layout of the fields and the functionality of the pages are not changing, the new technology will give them a more modern look and feel.

Templates

The Medical/Mental Health Summary, Case Note, and Provider Note templates will be the first documents migrated to the new document generation technology. As a result, these documents will launch as pdf files.

Color and Icons

The purple color at the top of each page and the colorful icons used throughout eWiSACWIS will be changed to have an updated modern look.

Please note the eWiSACWIS modernization efforts are not part of our eWiSACWIS review related to the new federal CCWIS guidelines. Our modernization efforts are part of the ongoing process to improve the current system for users.

eWiSACWIS Release Notes

The notes are in a table which includes high-level program areas featured for a particular release. Every release has incidental updates which are also included in the notes.  You can find a release by sorting any of the columns or using the search box.

The Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF) is currently conducting a comprehensive assessment of our current eWiSACWIS system to determine if Wisconsin should:

  1. Transition eWiSACWIS into a CCWIS system
  2. Build a new CCWIS system
  3. Use eWiSACWIS unchanged

DCF is engaged in the following:

  • DCF hired a project manager/consultant in February 2017 to conduct an assessment of our current eWiSACWIS system and compare it to the federal requirements for CCWIS compliance

  • Conducting interviews with a cross-section of county and state system users, Indian tribal child welfare directors’, and technology partners

  • Collaborating with other State child welfare agencies to learn about their efforts

DCF will conclude their assessment in early December of this year and make recommendations to senior leadership in early 2018. DCF must let the federal government know of their final decision by July 2018.

 

Additional Resources

DCF CCWIS Information

Federal CCWIS Information