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Appendix B – Wayne County Department of Social Services

Background


Over the last two years, NYS OCFS, selected LDSS, and the state legislature provided funding to deploy and test the use of mobile technologies in Child Protective Services (CPS) work. In April 2007, Wayne County Department of Social Services submitted a mobile technology proposal and was awarded funding to deploy laptops for CPS work. As a result, on November 30, 2007, 16 Dell Latitude D620 laptops were distributed to 14 caseworkers and two managers.

Following this deployment in November 2007, an initial assessment of the use of laptops in CPS work took place. The initial assessment examined how mobile technology affects CPS caseworker productivity, mobility, and satisfaction. This extended assessment examined similar questions over an eight-month period, longer than the time period in the initial assessment. .

District context and deployment

At the time of data collection, Wayne County DSS had 15 CPS staff responsible for child protective services. Wayne County is a mostly rural area with approximately 93,000 residents. Wayne County DSS submitted a mobile technology proposal to OCFS stating that they wanted to learn if connected laptops would provide caseworkers with more opportunities to complete work while waiting in court and in between caseworker visits while in the field. In addition, Wayne’s proposal stated they hoped that by using laptops, their district would see improved case coordination and more timely entry of progress notes.

Each participating caseworker received their own laptop and docking station with keyboard and monitor. District-provided external broadband cards were distributed and all access to the State network (i.e., to access the central database) was through a virtual private network (VPN) that secured the transmission to and from the laptop and the network. The district provided all participants with a training manual as well as a one-hour group training session demonstrating basic user functions of the laptop and security precautions.

In this profile

This profile is specific to Wayne County and brings together the most comprehensive data on the two data collection periods as well as presents findings on use, mobility, productivity and satisfaction.