In June 2016, the federal Administration for Children and Families, Department of Health and Human Services (ACF) published a new federal rule defining the Comprehensive Child Welfare Information System (CCWIS) initiative which governs state and tribal Child Welfare (CW) information systems for the foreseeable future. In general, these CCWIS regulations, which are optional, allows state CW agencies greater flexibility to develop systems consistent with their practices and business needs by moving away from “data capture” to a “data maintenance” philosophy, as long as a copy of the data is stored and maintained in CCWIS, which must be the source of all data and reporting requirements. The primary features of the CCWIS regulations include a new level of emphasis on data exchange capability and data quality (rather than on the specific functionality to be provided) and on modularity as a development principle. The new system places greater emphasis on bi-directional data exchanges between CW-related programs in the state agencies that administer health, justice, labor, education, and local agencies as well as other organizations who provide services to children and families.
In June of 2017, the New York State (NYS) Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) launched a nine-month assessment of the investments required for enhanced program development and the impact of CCWIS compliance on NYS CW programs and services.
This executive summary presents the results of the nine-month assessment undertaken by OCFS to gather information necessary to inform their decision regarding commitment to CCWIS compliance and, given that a “Go” decision was made, to set a course for continued planning and implementation.