This is the story of how the State of California changed direction on a $500 million IT project for Child Welfare Services. To a large degree it’s about technology. But it‘s also about leadership, changing frames for assessing risk, and relationships based on trust.
Our recent work with state government agencies in California and Mississippi provides some powerful examples of how 18F’s commitment to working and learning in the open can provide enormous benefits — even to states that are not yet working directly with 18F.
The Technology Transformation Service recently held an industry day to talk to the private sector community about our vision, our projects, and how GSA and vendors can work together to bring modern digital services to the federal government. For that event, California’s Stuart Drown recorded a short video talking about 18F’s work with California on their Child Welfare System.
The State of Mississippi is about to upgrade its child welfare management system, a system used by about 1,800 state employees in 82 counties, supporting the wellbeing of about 5,000 children across the state. The system was built in the early 2000s, and the employees who use it are stymied by an inefficient interface and aging infrastructure.
Through a partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services, 18F was able to work with California’s Department of Social Services and Office of Systems Integration on the replacement of California's Child Welfare System. We helped them simplify the contracting documents and incorporate modular contracting, agile development, user-centered design, and open source practices into their project.