Texas CACs serve over 43,000 children a year, and managing these efforts and their associated data is difficult. 67 Of the state's member centers will use the “Collaborate for Networks” framework, tailored to meet exacting state requirements, while offering flexibility to the individual centers that require customizations or specialized workflows.
This software will grant forensic interviewers, victim advocates, mental health professionals, child abuse medical professionals, and leadership a significant reduction in overhead required for their day-to-day, from automation of tasks, to the extraction of meaningful information from vast quantities of data.
In the end, it means they spend more time on and with clients, and less on cumbersome but necessary overhead tasks.
The 70 local CACs cover 194 Texas Counties, which is 97% of the state’s population. Centers across the state represent:
CAC staff members
CAC board members
law enforcement departments
Every Department of Family and Protective Services region
external medical partners
In the Works Since 2014
CAC of Denton County, and CAC of Collin County, neighboring Texas CACs and trailblazers in the state, have started the customization process already: CACDC went live with Collaborate in 2015, and CACCC with a go-live July, 2017. Their customizations will give CACs of TX and its member centers an advanced start toward a standardized, but tailored, Collaborate implementation.
“CACDC staff and interns have found the intuitive functions of the database easy to use. Our particular customizations have allowed us to go paperless and to work more efficiently. Reporting to funding sources takes significantly less time than our prior database.”
Children's Advocacy Center for Denton County
“We are excited to be transitioning to Collaborate. As with many CACs, we have been frustrated with our current system’s inability to meet the growing complexity of data collecting and reporting. Both our direct service and our development staff are very happy about Collaborate’ s abilities to streamline our processes and make our jobs easier.”
Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County
(many) Little Efficiencies Have a Big Impact
Collaborate does the heavy lifting for the big tasks, out of the box. This usually means the ability to do things previously not possible, or in a way that is a vast improvement over previous methods, but all around the CAC model of care.
So, while the “big things” are generally already solved, don’t underestimate building efficiencies into small but previously inefficient tasks! Everything counts.
Overhead tasks, frequently small, come in groups - Intake Coordinators, for example, may perform an Intake and record an assortment of supplementary services - every time they perform an intake. Saving 5 minutes here, which we do via a module called “Batch Simple Services” amounts in a time savings in Texas that is comparable to 2 full time staff, for an entire year. Collaborate enables this for innumerable tasks, across many disciplines.
When the scale approaches the size of Texas, efficiencies add up to thousands of hours per year, which can be spent on direct client services instead of overhead.
Where a developer’s hour can save hundreds of hours, per center, per year, do it.
Statewide Outcome Reporting Helps Children
“Collaborate will allow us to look at statewide outcomes in order reach our vision: reach every child, provide every service, and make every effort.”
Children’s Advocacy Centers of Texas
“What gets measured gets managed” is pertinent to CACs’ specialized workflows. Statewide metrics and adaptive processes help ensure every child in need of CAC services in Texas can be reached, using a tailored approach. Aggregate reports can be pulled real-time, across the state, and as Funder reporting requirements change, CACs of TX will facilitate rollout of these common, or in some cases, standardized reports to member agencies.
The CACs of TX network has a clear and unified vision about how they’ll use data to continually improve the breadth, depth, and quality of services offered.
5 Tips for Successful Statewide Case Management
- Thorough planning and thorough training are the two most important things when working on a large-scale software implementation. Work with a software development team that can do both.
- Skilled state leadership and an enthusiastic diverse design team can make good decisions for all, and avoid “too many cooks in the kitchen” gridlock.
- Working as a collective means truly “best” best practices, with massive cost and time savings.
- A “Phased Rollout” allows for time to test new functionality, train users in multiple groups throughout the state, and process data migrated from their legacy databases. In CACs of TX, this is primarily NCA Trak with some Lotus Notes, and dozens of spreadsheets, mixed in.
- Have a clear vision and gather a team and partners that share it!