A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

State social services staff receive technology upgrade; tablets will save time, paperwork

A new technology upgrade will allow hundreds of Cabinet social workers across Kentucky to spend less time on paperwork. Approximately 1,800 social workers and social services staff will receive tablets to replace their laptop and desktop computers.

This new approach will save time and allow staff in the Division of Protection and Permanency (DPP), part of the Cabinet’s Department for Community Based Services (DCBS), to better serve children and families. DPP staff provide child welfare and adult safety services that require them to be in the field frequently for welfare checks, supervised visitations, court dates and case meetings. They will use tablets to enter case information and stay connected to their offices.

About 200 of the initial allocation of tablets have been assigned to Jefferson County. The project is a collaborative effort between the Cabinet and the Commonwealth Office of Technology (COT). First Lady Glenna Bevin was in Louisville today as some staff members received their new tablets.

“These tablets will provide our hardworking social workers with the ability to complete paperwork in real time when they are visiting clients in homes, schools, and medical facilities,” said First Lady Bevin. “Our hope is that this updated technology will allow social workers to complete paperwork more efficiently so that they are able to spend more time with the families they serve.”

DCBS Commissioner Eric Clark said the project demonstrates the Bevin administration’s and his department’s commitment toward investing in staff resources and creating efficiencies.

“These devices improve our front-line staff’s mobility which will ultimately better serve our most vulnerable citizens,” he said. “They can connect to our databases using either broadband or cell data – so they can actually sit in a client’s home and be able to complete certain areas of their work, from assessments, to case planning to other documentation requirements.”

Staff can use the tablets to update files anytime during their work day – like while they wait for a court appointment or when they are with a client in a doctor’s office. The tablets can also be used to upload pictures and forms into the Department’s databases.   

“We really want to eliminate the need for caseworkers and social services staff to have to upload case details back at the office, which can be miles from their appointments or site visits,” concluded Commissioner Clark. “These tablets sync with our office systems and will help our workers better manage their caseload.”

Learn more about DCBS at chfs.ky.gov.

From Cabinet for Health and Family Services

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