Children’s Advocacy Center Statewide Database
Children’s Advocacy Centers (CACs) in South Carolina are required by accreditation standards to provide a database for tracking medical, mental health, forensic interview, prevention, and other services provided by the CAC to child victims, family members and caregivers. These databases must provide essential demographic information, case information, and investigation/intervention outcomes. In the past all 17 CACs in SC used independent databases of different formats and functions which inhibited coordinated services. The SCNCAC 2018 CAC needs assessment identified gaps in CAC services due to several factors. The SCNCAC Development Plan provides recommendations to remove the barriers to services identified in the needs assessment. One of many solutions identified in the development plan was to develop a statewide CAC database and then provide an integration from the Department of Social Services (DSS) Children’s Protective Services (CPS) division CAPSS system to a statewide CAC database to better coordinate services. Phase one of this project, the statewide CAC Collaborate database, is operational and helping to prevent duplication of services, better allocate mental health, medical, and other resources, and preventing child abuse cases from falling through the cracks which could occur with disconnected system. This statewide CAC case management database is provided as a service to our member CACs.
SCNCAC DSS Database Integration
Phase Two of the database project involved developing an integration between the SCNCAC Collaborate and Department of Social Services (DSS) CAPSS databases to provide automated referrals from DSS to CACs for cases that meet the CAC case acceptance criteria in the South Carolina Child Abuse Response Protocol Act. In early 2020, work began at the IT level regarding security certificates, required data elements, referral transfer structures, web services and code requirements for the database (DB) interaction. Final testing and refinement for the database integration continued throughout 2021 and the automated referral system went live on 6/15/22 and is providing hourly automated referrals from DSS to South Carolina CACs through the SCNCAC Collaborate database bridge. The DSS CAPSS and SCNCAC Collaborate database integration helps to safeguard equity for all SC kids by helping to ensure that referrals for services are made regardless of background or demographics. We are thankful for the support of DSS and the teams working to complete this important project.
Currently, once an automated referral is transmitted from the DSS CAPSS database to a CAC through the SCNCAC Collaborate database, a DSS investigator is assigned who will then call the CAC that received the automated referral to schedule a forensic interview. The CAC will obtain the additional information needed for services by having the DSS investigator complete a CAC intake form or provide information by phone. Phase three of this project will allow the DSS Investigator to complete the intake form electronically and have it securely transmitted to the CAC through the SCNCAC Collaborate and DSS CAPSS system database integration. Phase three will further streamline CAC and DSS workloads by reducing duplicative data entry and potential human error in initial intake information gathering.
In early 2022, SCNCAC and DSS leadership began discussing the timeline for phase three work which began after the launch of phase two. SCNCAC is working to develop a statewide standard CAC intake form by working with all CACs to ensure that all information needed by CACs to deliver best practice, evidence based services is obtained in the new electronic intake form process. SCNCAC and DSS team work at the information technology (IT) level for phase three is schedule to begin in the fall of 2022. Lessons learned during the testing of the phase two project should help to shorten the amount of testing needed in phase three. Use the link below to view a fact sheet on the integration project to learn more about the project and implementation timeline.
SCNCAC provides information and announcements regarding the Collaborate CAC database for member CAC staff and MDT partners through our member web-based professional networking community SCNCAC Connect. Members can use the button below to log in to SCNCAC Connect. Once on the SCNCAC Connect home page, you will see important announcement on the dashboard. All announcements and information important for members using the Collaborate Database are also posted in the Collaborate forum. In the left column of the SCNCAC Connect home page, there is a forum link where information on the database is posted for members. We encourage all members who are using the database to check the Collaborate Forum regularly to keep up to date and important database announcements and information.
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