Indiana Department of Child Services Streamlines Case Management

For most state departments of child services, there is an inherent challenge of managing massive amounts of paperwork that lead to caseworker burnout and turnover. 

In addition to dealing with siloed legacy systems, the combination of these issues makes it even more difficult to serve the mission of providing the best possible, and timely, outcomes for at-risk children.

In fact, it requires two to five hours of paperwork for every 45 minutes that a caseworker spends with a family, and workload is one of the top five reasons human services employees quit their jobs. On top of this, it costs approximately $54,000 to replace a caseworker.

Challenges at Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS)

With more than 20,000 children and families to support, case managers and staff for the Indiana Department of Child Services has taken a comprehensive approach to digitizing and modernizing all of its case work efforts. 

The organization found that there are approximately 500 forms that could be associated with an individual case, and it had a 30 percent caseworker turnover rate due to paperwork issues. It also has over 200,000 investigations each year, which require anywhere from one to 100 forms tied to each case. 

Due to this turnover, Indiana DCS was hiring 70 to 100 people a month to replace the caseworkers that resigned, and it was spending more than $250,000 per year in wiping and reissuing devices.

Indiana DCS also needed the right solutions for meeting the Family First Act, which is a 2018 federal law that aims to keep children safely with their families and avoid the traumatic experience of entering foster care.

In addition, establishing eligibility for federal matching funds was taking too slow for Indiana DCS. Twenty eight percent of its cases were eligible for matching funds. However, due to workflow issues, only 14 percent of its cases were able to establish eligibility fast enough to qualify for federal funding -- leaving close to 50 percent of federal funds on the table.

Fully Modernized and Streamlined Case Management

In an effort to streamline all case management efforts, Indiana DCS has embarked on a proof-of-concept that leverages DocuSign CLM to:

  1. Be 100 percent paperless
  2. Provide greater caseworker satisfaction
  3. Reduce staff turnover
  4. Offer better service delivery

Indiana DCS is already moving all documents into DocuSign CLM, with all workflows operating in this solution. In addition, this allows documents to be managed digitally, where agreements can be signed and be immediately sent to where they need to be – whether to the courts, supervisors or the foster parents. 

The department is also going to be integrating DocuSign CLM with Salesforce modules, as well as using Amazon Web Services (AWS) as its back-end cloud provider for data analytics and storage. It is also exploring building models for Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Business Intelligence (BI) to better identify the best services for the children it serves.  

In addition, by streamlining overall workflows, the agency will be able to establish eligibility for federal funds much faster, which will allow Indiana DCS to pay for its overall case management upgrade in one year or less. 

These are the insights from a recent on-demand webinar titled, “How Indiana is Streamlining Case Management to Protect its Most Vulnerable,” where Kevin Jones, CIO, Indiana DCS, provided his strategic-level vision for streamlining all department efforts. 

In the next blog posts in this series, we will highlight how DocuSign CLM will further impact all Indiana DCS case management efforts, as well as how DocuSign eNotary and eSignature with SMS delivery can further transform departments of child services.