The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is working to implement new technology for the state’s child welfare system.
The new executive director of the MDHHS Children’s Services Agency, Demetrius Starling, says the current system gets bogged down in data entry.
Starling says the department and its contractors hope software improvements will mean staffers spend less time on computers, adding "we believe that frees them up to have more time in the field with their customers, with the children and families that we’re serving.”
"If our customers have more time to engage with our staff, to be able to share any ideas about the permanency of their kids or to make sure that they’re part of some of that planning going forward, I think it’s a win-win for us all," Starling added.
Starling estimates that full implementation of the new technology could take four or five years, but it’s being rolled out in phases. The department hopes to have the first phase, licensing, up and running by the end of the year.