The NT government has settled on two IT partners to deliver its planned $64 million integrated child protection case management system following an extensive two-year procurement.
The government on Wednesday said that UK-based software provider Liquidlogic, which specialises in case management systems for social care, and local IT firm SRA had been selected for the project.
The new case management and data exchange solution, to be known as the 'Care' system, will replace the territory's existing community care information system (CCIS), which will reach end-of-life in December 2021.
The Department of Corporate and Digital Development (DCDD) is leading the project, formally known as the client management system alignment (CMSA) program, on behalf of Territory Families.
DCDD (then the Department of Corporate and Information Services) went looking for a new system in 2018 in response to the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the NT.
The Royal Commission identified systemic problems with the territory’s approach to child protection and youth justice, including limitations with several underpinning systems of record.
Systems of concern included the CCIS and the integrated offender management system (IOMS), neither of which ‘talked’ each other, as well as the police real-time online management system (PROMIS).
The government said it expects the new Care system to improve “information sharing and coordination to ensure we are better protecting vulnerable children”.
It will do this by ensuring agencies like Police, Territory Families, Housing and Communities, Health, Education and Attorney General have access to the same information through a single case file.
This “holistic view of the child” is expected to “increase opportunities for early intervention”, while improving interaction with non-government, private service providers.
Minister for Territory Families and Urban Housing Kate Worden said the new Care system will give frontline case workers the tools to better protect vulnerable children.
“A total of 72 per cent of Territory Families, Housing and Communities’ core business is recorded outside of our approved computer system which is more than 25 years old," she said.
“The creation of the Care system and the delivery of the program is all about it being based on the child.
“We want to make sure we are keeping up to date information on our vulnerable families, so we can assist quickly and proactively.”
Minister for Corporate and Digital Development Paul Kirby said the Care system represented one of the biggest IT overhauls that the NT has ever embarked on.
“We have engaged the specialist skills of LiquidLogic with the local knowledge of SRA Information Technology,” he said.
“SRA has more than 25 years’ experience delivering information technology solutions and services in the Northern Territory, with a local team dedicated to this project.
“Delivery of the new Care system will be further supported by specialist ICT practitioners from a range of local Territory digital businesses.”
The Care system is scheduled for completion in late 2022.