NT begins search for next child protection IT system

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NT begins search for next child protection IT system

Has $67m to spend.

The NT government has begun searching for an integrated child protection case management system in a bid to better protect vulnerable children.

The Territory last week it kicked off the first stage of a two-phase procurement process for the new system that was funded to the tune of $67 million in this year’s budget

Dubbed the client management system alignment (CMSA), the project is part of the territory’s $229 million response to the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the NT.

The troubled detention facility which triggered the Royal Commission, the Don Dale complex, had to be emptied by police earlier this month following a disturbance where young inmates took keys from staff, gained access to angle grinders to cut through bars and fences and later set fire to the centre's school. 

According the the Territory government, the new software will replace the existing community care information system (CCIS), which is expected to reach end of life in December 2021, as well as other territory systems such as the youth justice case management component of the integrated offender management system (IOMS).

The idea is that the new system will be a single source of truth for frontline workers in child protection and youth justice, offering a“360 degrees view of child”. It will also increase information sharing between agencies.

The Department of Corporate and Information Services, which is leading the project on behalf of Territory Families, is looking for a commercial off-the-shelf case management system – delivered either as an on-premises or cloud solution and associated services – for at least the next nine years.

It also wants the successful supplier to “ensure that all legacy data is migrated accurately” and test the system so that it passes user acceptance testing no later than 30 June, 2020.

Data migration was a significant sticking point for the NSW government’s new ChildStory child protection IT platform, forcing back the go-live back by eight months.

DCIS is also planning to conduct a separate tender process for a contemporary BI capability.

Minister for Terrtory Families Dale Wakefield said the system “will be a crucial tool to help staff make informed decisions about children and keep them safe from abuse and harm”.

“Youth justice and child protection staff will be able to access more reliable and timely information,” he said.

“It will also link with health and police databases to allow for coordinated action related to child safety.”

The procurement will enter the second phase in February 2019.

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