New SACWIS pilot under way in Tenn.

The Tennessee Department of Children’s Services announced a pilot program to expand access to information and streamline communications between child services agencies across the state. The live test phase is scheduled for completion at the end of this month, where it will be released statewide to 5,000 users.

As part of a 28-month partnership with Dynamics Research Corporation (DRC) the state’s Dept. Of Children’s Services will replace its legacy system, TNKIDS, with the Tennessee Family and Child Tracking System (TFACTS). The new Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information System, or SACWIS, is designed to help agencies see individuals in the system as part of a more connected, family-focused whole, DRC’s chairman and CEO, Jim Regan, said.

“This statewide child welfare practice model will allow the Department of Children’s Services to provide better care to children and families in Tennessee through a greater focus on family reunification,” Mr. Regan said in a statement.

According to the company, twenty child service agencies in the Mid-Cumberland Region are already live testing the system. When launched statewide, TFACTS is designed to enable users to document and access case-specific information on intake, provider payment and closure details – all accessible from a central repository for case documents. Tom Kelly, DRC’s senior vice president and general manager for Systems Engineering and Information Technology, said, “By eliminating standalone, disjointed legacy systems, TFACTS will have a major impact on how Department and private providers carry out their daily mission of aiding children and families.”

According to HHS’s Administration for Children & Families, Tennessee is one of eight other states with SACWIS models in development. Nine states have elected not to implement SACWIS models, meaning they have not approached their child welfare case management according to HHS guidelines, and are not eligible to receive part of the more than $2.3 billion in approved SACWIS developmental project costs.

This will be DRC’s fourth automated case management system, the company said, including implementations in Colorado, Ohio and New Hampshire.

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