DCYF is designing and implementing a new online caregiver application portal. We are working with Binti – a California-based software company that has worked with more than 120 government and private agencies – to transform and modernize data systems focused on working with children in out-of-home care. Streamlining the application process with user-friendly tools will aid efforts to increase and diversify the population of licensed, and kinship caregivers, group care facilities and Child-Placing Agencies (CPAs). Efficiencies acquired by replacing paper-driven processes will allow DCYF to speed up safe and legally permanent transitions to youth in out-of-home placement. You can read more about Binti at Binti.com/about.
Portal development is driven by staff and stakeholders. To prepare for the actual system build, a group of 92 participants responded to an open call to work on improving licensing processes. Nine Practice Improvement Task Forces met from early spring 2020 through late fall 2020 to study current processes and make recommendations for improvements.
Washington Caregiver Application Portal by Binti (WA CAP) is an online application tool that will allow prospective and existing caregivers to complete application and renewal forms from a computer, tablet, or phone. It will:
- Interact with other DCYF systems – including FamLink
- Support English and monolingual Spanish providers
- Support caregiver engagement and retention efforts
- Send automatic notifications to LD staff when specific tasks are completed or expiring
- Allow caregivers to track their progress in application and renewal activities
- Allow potential and existing caregivers to upload required documentation, such as photo ID and insurance.
- Allow electronic signatures
- Allow caregivers to apply to, or transfer from, a CPA or the state without duplicating efforts
- Allow new CPAs and potential new group care facilities to apply through the portal
WA CAP by Binti will benefit children by:
- Decreasing the time to qualify families as caregivers.
- Decreasing placement interruptions for children in care.
- Decreasing the drop-out rate of licensed homes.
- Increasing the number of licensed kinship caregivers to improve access to resources. Currently, only 12% of kinship caregivers get licensed.
- Decreasing the total number of placements experienced by children in care.
Who will use the portal?
- DCYF Licensing Division Staff
- DCYF Foster Care Applicants
- DCYF Kinship Caregivers
- Child Placing Agencies
- Group Care Facilities
- Other DCYF users, with varying access levels depending upon the role and need
Providing tracking tools for staff for:
- Application Status
- Required Additional Documents
The implementation of a new system brings hope, fears, and lots of growing pains.
The portal looks to:
- Improve the state’s foster care licensing system usability.
- Streamline the Home Study Process by creating a singular Home Study that DCYF and Child Placing Agencies will use.
- Automate existing paper practices.
- Provide tools for efficient recruitment and retention of foster parents.
- Provide a single application source to prospective and existing caregivers.
- Provide the Department, Stakeholders, the media, and the Legislature with measurable, quantifiable, and meaningful outcomes.
Nine practice improvement task forces met throughout 2020 to develop modernized workflow processes, identify and recommended changes to policies and procedures, and to define resolutions to the specific workflow that satisfy RCW, WAC and/or policy in preparation of the foster care provider portal implementation. For additional information, please visit the Task Force Executive Summaries document.
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