The Department of Social Services announced Wednesday the agency had received a $250,000 grant from the BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Foundation for the development of a new smartphone app.
The app will connect caseworkers to DSS’s network system, allowing caseworkers instant access to children’s complete case files on their smartphones.
According to Karen Wingo, the Department’s Director of Communications and Legislative Affairs, caseworkers have to return to their offices to document any family visits and therefore, spend most of their time completing administrative tasks.
“Right now, our caseworkers have to spend an upwards of 50 percent of their work hours on administrative tasks and have to go back to the office after meeting with families and children in the field to input data into our system and also to review data on any past history or past visits,” Wingo said. “Developing this technology through this pilot program will help us work more efficiently, because our workers will be able to access information immediately.”
The app will first be piloted in Greenville, York and Lee counties. If it is successful, DSS officials anticipate a future budget request to roll out the technology statewide.
“We wanted to implement this in a large county, a medium county and a small-size county,” Wingo said. “That way we can measure the impact it has in three size counties.”
DSS officials expect more than 150 caseworkers will be using the app by May 2017.