Family Law

How Technology Is Changing the Foster Care System for the Better

Technology is being implemented in foster care, in ways that are significant and ever-changing. It is expected to have even greater changes in the future.

Yet as technology is increasingly leveraged for the public good, there are ongoing concerns about laws and protocols in the American foster care system.

The Comprehensive Child Welfare Information Systems (CCWIS) Regulations

The CCWIS initiative was put in place in 2015 to allow child welfare agencies to use technology and systems in the ways that work best for them. As of now, using this system is optional for each state.

The hope is that the system increases child abuse prevention and decreases foster care abuse.

The regulations help:

  • Lower costs of maintaining records and record-keeping
  • Customize systems for specific needs (such as tracking mental or behavioral health needs)
  • Partner more closely with insurance companies, schools, and other agencies
  • Report specific information to federal agencies

It compares to the previous Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information System (SACWIS) in a few key ways:

  • Both collect and report data to agencies, other states, and federal agencies
  • Both send information to the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS)
  • Both report to the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System (NCANDS)

ACYF-GSA Partnership

The Administration on Children, Youth, and Families (ACYF) partners with the General Services Administration (GSA) to create federal programs.

These programs support:

  • Social services
  • Positive youth experiences
  • Positive family development
  • Protective services
  • Shelter for at-risk minors
  • Preventing child abuse and neglect
  • Safety of families and minors

Document Management

One significant role that technology has played is document management and data storage in the cloud. This versatile online storage allows agencies to recall foster care system information quickly and easily.

This improved document management can benefit children in the foster care system (and your rights as a foster parent) by keeping accurate and accessible records.

Algorithmic Pairing

Algorithmic pairing is an online program that matches children in the foster care system with compatible parents. This has proven helpful in finding compatibility between pairings and a better success rate of matches or adoptions. Unlike the traditional way of using some information and meetings with the parents and child, algorithms use extensive data to make matches.

Apps and Online Resources

Technology is making matching children who are in the foster care system with parents much more effortless. It takes time and effort off of caseworkers, allowing them to focus more on children and their needs.

A growing number of apps and online resources are intended to help those in the foster care system, such as the U.S. Department of Education Foster Care Transition Toolkit.

Protect Your Rights When Working With the Foster Care System

As technology, information, and the foster system change, ensure your rights and privacy are protected. There are attorneys who focus on:

No matter your questions, you can find the right attorney to help you understand your situation and watch out for your best interests.

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