Tool Kit Helps Child Welfare Leaders Streamline Procurement Processes

Posted November 2, 2020, By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

Procurement processes for child welfare systems

The Annie E. Casey Foundation, in collaboration with the American Public Human Services Association, has funded the development of the CCWIS Model RFP, a tool kit designed to help child welfare leaders streamline their procurement processes with a goal-driven framework that emphasizes program and policy objectives — and prioritizes outcomes for kids and families — while minimizing endless requirements. 

The model enables an agency to develop a clear statement of its programmatic goals for each functional area, provides guideposts in the form of preferences or creative ideas the agency would like bidders to consider, and documents any constraints the bidders must take into account in their proposals. Rather than respond to hundreds of detailed requirements, bidders are asked to propose a technically sound, innovative and responsive solution that illustrates its understanding of child welfare, as well as the agency’s priorities. 

The Model Request for Proposals tool kit harnesses the transformative potential of the federal Comprehensive Child Welfare Information System (CCWIS) program, which provides substantial funding and a new conceptual framework aimed at encouraging title IV-E agencies to create more program-driven technology solutions.

“We invested in this work because the advent of CCWIS is truly a defining moment in child welfare,” says Sandra Gasca-Gonzalez, vicepresident of Casey’s Center for Systems Innovation. “It’s clear that the strength of the CCWIS Model RFP is its ability to drive solutions that focus on people rather than process.”

Child welfare agencies, along with Information Technology and procurement teams and vendors who work with them, are encouraged to download the free tool kit and incorporate content in whatever manner is most useful for their CCWIS initiatives. The tool kit includes:

  • Model RFP, a resource that agencies can use in planning their CCWIS effort.
  • Companion Guide, a section-by-section analysis of the Model RFP’s provisions and the thinking behind them, including the latest industry trends.

The Model RPF calls on states and tribes to think innovatively about how child welfare solutions are designed, procured and implemented. The Model RFP and its companion guide are intended to spur this thinking by marshalling countless best practices in program, policy, technology and solution delivery, then providing ready-to-use content that can be tapped and customized to build strong CCWIS procurements. 

“This toolkit is intended not only to support state leaders in procuring and developing modern technology infrastructure,” says Ann Flagg, senior director of policy and practice at the American Public Human Services Association, “but also to drive innovation in how integrated child welfare service delivery systems are designed with a focus on child and family wellbeing outcomes.” 

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