Monday, July 9, 2012


This is not ‘new’ news but it is informative and only a few weeks old.

The Liberal government spent a minimum of $182 million dollars on a computer Case Management system. It was installed and it went live on April 1st. The previous software was thirty years old and by every assessment was antiquated and inadequate. One would think that with the criticism that has been directed at the Ministry of Children and Family Development alleging incompetence and poor case management for countless reasons, that the promised change would be precisely that which is needed right now. Wrong!
It is a system after all. It was not specifically designed for MCFD or for Child Welfare case management for that matter. Oh, Oh! Since it’s inauguration design flaws have been immediately encountered and flagged and implementation flaws have frustrated front-line social workers and in some cases overwhelmed them. Social workers were given almost no time to learn this computerized system which appears to be more complicated than anyone imagined. E-Learning was prescribed as the model by which social workers could educate themselves but not with time off to accommodate that responsibility. Rather, they were to fit this duty into their busy schedules. This is inadequate. Further, there were only 17 online training modules which is woefully insufficient.
By all reports these glitches are not the expected anomalies of a new system but rather there are fundamental flaws with both design and implementation. Over 2000 social workers are campaigning to have the government scrap this new system and begin again. It is allegedly responsible already for some high risk incidents. Reports have been received that work loads have actually increased for workers with regard to certain aspects of their jobs. Social workers have left work distraught and in tears. The Children’s Deputy Minister, Stephen Brown is promising to work on improvements by the end of summer. He denies that the system is worse than what the Ministry used before and expresses not knowledge of safety-related incidents. But he does admit that he has heard from staff who are stressed by the software and training provisions.

1 comment:

  1. The sense I get from this news is RCY has clearly jumped the gun in criticizind the expenditure and the hardware, but they do not yet know enough about the system because the training has been inadequate. So, the effect is to build up public support against the system without having to first produce those bothersome facts that give more precise reasons why the 'old' system is better than the new.

    Go do the training, build up some experience THEN come back and give a better explaination. I'm sure the contractors who build the system are less than pleased that social workers are giving advice saying the system should be scrapped, rather than vice versa.

    If the new system is designed to ring alarm bells when the 30-day investigation period has elapsed, or the criteria for removal vs. a supervision order has been programatically embedded, preventing unwarranted escalation,, of course said workers would be upset with a system that reduces their ability to 'wing it' and flaunt such rules.


I encourage your comments using this filter.
1. Write politely with a sincere statement, valid question, justifiable comment.
2. Engage with the blog post or a previous comment whether you agree or disagree.
3. Avoid hate, profanity, name calling, character attack, slander and threats, particularly when using specific names.
4. Do not advertise