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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