Improving Processes and Creating a Successful Implementation for Kitsap County Juvenile and Family Court Services

It all began with a conference presentation on OneNote and a question.

“This could be described as a ‘textbook project,” said Bud Harris, Director, Information Services. “It began at the right place, the right time, with the right thought processes, and all the right people came together.”

The concept that grew into the Kitsap County Juvenile Family and Court Services RiteTrack Case Management System came from the question: what if involved youths’ records could be better managed and the information shared between programs?

Michael Merringer, Juvenile Court Administrator, became involved with probation in the 1990s and found that common practices for managing youth records created segregated, unreliable information. Every time a juvenile came into detention, they would make a new paper file for them that would include assessments, medical history, and recommended programming which could not be easily shared nor was it common to share cross-department.

However, following the seemingly commonplace OneNote presentation, Merringer had a flash of insight. Wouldn’t it be great if they operated with ONE file for ONE kid? All forms would be carried in that file, staff would have access, various people could contribute, and everyone would have access to the information they needed (subject to appropriate security restrictions) while keeping everything up-to-date.

This was the vision that blossomed into the carefully planned, meticulously implemented project with an overall goal of improving access, security and accuracy of client information, examining and improving internal processes, and providing reliable, statistical data.

Sometimes projects also provide unintended benefits. Merringer said the RiteTrack project had such a benefit: process improvement. The key philosophy applied in this project was to look at the process first before applying the technology. The staff improved processes during the mapping phase by cutting out redundant efforts and wasted activity. Mapping processes across multiple departments created a visual representation of how each department dealt with their processes and cases, and was valuable because it provided visuals of the processes to assist in directing the technology. Because of this project, the Department can monitor processes and continually improve them to better meet the needs of staff, too.

After defining many internal processes, the department went to look at available options for juvenile justice information management systems. As with most system explorations options included building in-house, buying off-the-shelf, or some combination thereof. To find how other jurisdictions managed their juvenile data they visited other counties in the state and kept hearing about the RiteTrack Juvenile Justice Software from Handel IT. Because they defined processes prior to searching for a solution, they were able to use them to match process flows with available offerings.

Following the review of available options, the Department found that RiteTrack offered the combination of an off-the-shelf solution paired with configuration capabilities that could create a solution to perfectly fit the diligently outlined processes. After a competitive bidding process in 2015, RiteTrack and Handel were chosen as the solution and vendor for this project.

“Over several years a group of dedicated individuals accepted the challenge of creating an electronic environment for case management for the Department. Members of the team came from every area of the County and Juvenile Department. Working together as a team, the successful development of the Juvenile Department’s RiteTrack Case Management System was realized,” the Department’s launch party invitation read.

Kitsap County went live on its new RiteTrack Juvenile Case Management system on January 1, 2017. A celebration of the successful implementation and go-live took place in the offices of the Kitsap County Juvenile Court Administration on February 16.  Handel is pleased to partner with the Department and provide the tools to help create its ideal data management solution for its involved youth.

Webcast Encore: Innovative Tribal Programs Powered by RiteTrack

Handel Vice President Casey Bader hosted a webcast examining case studies of innovative tribal programs using technology to improve service coordination, communication between staff and membership, and comprehensive reporting on April 21, 2016. An encore recording of this webcast is available here.

The webcast Innovative Tribal Programs Powered by RiteTrack explored several Tribes Handel works with that have developed innovative and powerful service delivery models that have received national attention.

Visit the link to see case studies from the White Earth Nation, Mohegan Tribe, and Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma that illustrate how these Tribes leverage technology to take ownership and control of their data and processes to create solutions that empower staff and improve member services.

These Tribes have improved access to services, engaged more directly with members, automated communication between staff and clients and enabled extensive reporting.

While these programs are unique, they have addressed struggles and goals common among many Tribes.

The principles contained in this webcast will apply to any Tribe or program interested in improving services of a single program or across multiple programs.

Rewatch the webcast today.

White Earth Nation WE CARE system of care model run on RiteTrack

Since 2013 White Earth Nation has transferred human service cases for tribal members and their families from delivery by Minnesota counties. In order to provide the best services the Tribe developed the White Earth Coordination, Assessment, Resource and Education (WE CARE) case management model. This system of care model is a client-focused, client-driven model that requires client input and involvement. WE CARE focuses on program collaboration and communication to develop and execute an interdisciplinary plan based on the goals that the client wants to work on. WE CARE utilizes RiteTrack to enable assessment, collaboration, plan development, and outcome tracking.

White Earth Coordination, Assessment, Resource and Education (WE CARE) is a coordinated and holistic case management approach seeking to assure the long-term well-being of children, families and communities. WE CARE’s goals are to

  • decrease duplication while increasing access to services
  • increase client referrals
  • enhance access to resources for clients
  • increase communication and coordination between tribal programs through innovative technology

A primary goal of WE CARE is for services to be client-driven, and success is defined by the client as well.

White Earth Nation recognized that while there were services available to clients, the administration of these services was often ineffective and inefficient. Programs did not communicate and services were not prioritized. Clients could be left feeling confused and overwhelmed, and while a program may claim “success,” the client did not feel successful. The WE CARE model seeks to enhance collaboration between tribal programs, non-tribal programs, community and family in order to address the physical, mental, spiritual and emotional needs of clients. WE CARE relies on client input to direct outcomes, define goals , and determine how success will be defined. The WE CARE Plan, developed with the client, may include services from Child Protection, Child Care/Early Childhood, Head Start, Employment, Education, Mental Health, Substance Abuse, and more.

WE CARE leverages RiteTrack in order to enable collaboration, communication and outcome reporting for this interdisciplinary approach. The process begins with the client signing a Universal Release giving permission allowing data entry of a Universal Intake form into the database system. The Universal Intake is completed in RiteTrack and automatic notifications are sent to programs which are identified as applicable to the needs of the client. These are delivered via secure email with a live link to the record in RiteTrack. Identified programs then individually call the client to offer services, which the client can accept or deny. Any program whose services the client accepts will become a part of the WE CARE team for that client. All team members sign a Legal Confidentiality Form defining responsibilities for sharing information about the client and plan. The WE CARE team and client then develop a WE CARE plan based upon the needs identified in the Universal Intake Form. This WE CARE plan is defined in RiteTrack and includes detailed views of goals, strategies, staff assistance, notes and assigned programs. The WE CARE plan is printed and shared with the client for review and sign-off on the goals and empowerment strategies developed. The plan is updated in RiteTrack throughout service provision and outcomes are tracked. Information reported from the system is then used for federal and state grants as well as communication of outcomes to Tribal Council and the community.

The WE CARE model was developed by a specially chosen development team that created the process and model. Included in this development was the creation of a Universal Intake form, confidentiality form, and WE CARE plan. Additionally, an educational curriculum for staff regarding WE CARE was created to ensure the model was understood and administered effectively. The development team proposed recommendations for the WE CARE Advisory Board, an entity that works to support the program for both staff and clients. Then a public relations campaign was initiated to inform the White Earth Nation about WE CARE and the services it offered. Because of comprehensive and thoughtful planning, the WE CARE model was given the best chance for a successful implementation.

A WE CARE Advisory Board was established based on the Development Team’s recommendations to support and strengthen case management teams. The Advisory Board is comprised of division managers, not WE CARE team staff, and represents WE CARE on several fronts. It acts as a liaison with WE CARE clients and other constituents using this communication to monitor and strengthen services provided.It also provides feedback to Tribal Council and ensure adequate financial resources to support the program.

Through thoughtful, interdisciplinary planning, careful execution and comprehensive support, the WE CARE program has become an exceptional model for comprehensive service delivery to children and families in Indian Country. The WE CARE model uses best practices and collaboration between programs and clients to ensure the best outcomes. The program has developed innovative ways of utilizing technology to enhance collaboration, communication and reporting and to safeguard funding while providing sustainability for the program.

Jennifer Stevens, RN, PHN, White Earth Nation Home Health Agency Manager and Casey Bader, Vice President at Handel IT, will be presenting on the WE CARE model at the upcoming NICWA Conference, April 19 – 22, in Portland, OR.

RiteTrack

RiteTrack for the Northeastern Nevada TANF Consortium

Handel Information Technologies, Inc. is currently developing and implementing RiteTrack for the Northeastern Nevada Tribal TANF Consortium (NNTTC).

Handel’s integrative, flexible solution will be the perfect fit for the NNTTC because RiteTrack will allow the nine consortium member tribes to input data while maintaining tribal member confidentiality.

One reason the NNTTC decided to partner with Handel is that RiteTrack offers the required, complex security. This security is needed to keep member data confidential in the system between the tribes.

The consortium will submit one federal TANF report with the combined data from all nine tribes using the TANF funds. Programs like the NNTTC’s TANF program are making a difference in tribal nations and families every day. Handel is proud to help support that mission.

The nine tribes or bands that comprise the NNTTC including the Ely Shoshone Tribe, Duckwater Shoshone Tribe, Confederated Tribes of Goshute, Elko Band, Wells Band, South Fork Band, Battle Mountain Band, Duck Valley Sho-Pai, and the Temoke Tribe.

RiteTrack is software for tribal, state, and county governments. Handel works with tribal nations across the country in many tribal departments. Handel is an experienced, trustworthy technology company that goes above and beyond in serving American Indian Tribes and specializes in designing the best possible software solutions for American Indian social service agencies.

Washington County Juvenile Detention Center Discusses Benefits of RiteTrack

The Washington County Juvenile Detention Center, probation office and juvenile court work directly with youth who have been charged or sentenced for violating the law in Washington and Madison counties in Arkansas.

Essential information about offenders and services are often difficult to track on paper or with database software, but in order to distribute services to its facilities and provide rehabilitative programming for its residents, that data needs to be accurate and easily accessible.

The Washington County JDC and probation office found that its old database system and many other industry solutions provided the ability to combine and catalogue information from various paper sources and offered some reporting capabilities. However, the information in the database itself could not be shared between the JDC, the court and the probation office within the juvenile detention system. Meanwhile, the court and probation offices were operating without any software information management system and tracked everything on paper. The old database system also was not effective for repeat offenders because it created a duplicate client record for each repeated offense.

When Washington County began looking for a better software solution, it discovered RiteTrack. This solution provided the centralized database with a key benefit: the capability to share client information between offices without sharing sensitive case information. With RiteTrack the JDC, probation office (including prosecutors and public defenders), and court can all enter a new offender into RiteTrack and the other offices can then access the record of that offender.RiteTrack’s security parameters restrict case data viewing, but allow for client information sharing between departments. Therefore, all updates to the offender’s record made by an office are subsequently updated across all the departments.

Specific functionality of RiteTrack which is used by the probation and court side includes management of:

  • Court dockets
  • Family In Need of Services (FINS)
  • Dependent and neglect
  • Meetings and hearings
  • Criminal cases
  • Private cases
  • Interstate compact
The JDC tracks and manages:
  • Check-in
  • Intake and background
  • Room assignment
  • Social worker recommendations
  • Observations

Now with consistent information for each offender throughout the system, all the offices are experiencing better information. This has increased productivity within each office and case processing has become more efficient as well.

The Washington County JDC is a multi-bed holding facility for both clients who have been sentenced and those waiting to be sentenced, but it also provides fee-based holding services for surrounding Arkansas counties.

Juvenile systems across the country can benefit from a RiteTrack solution. This offering is configured to meet any office or department’s specific information management needs. With better information management, juvenile facilities can offer more efficient services to their clients and can increase record reliability across departments and offices. Handel Information Technologies, the maker of RiteTrack, has 15 years of experience in providing software solutions to the juvenile justice field.