DCF Launches Mobile Application to Aid Children’s Legal Services
~ Florida is first state to use mobile devices to enhance
child welfare lawyers efficiency while in court~
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. – In an effort to use technology to streamline our business process, the Department of Children and Families (DCF) has custom built a mobile application for BlackBerries that allows Children’s Legal Services’ attorneys to update and access files from the courtroom.
“The ability to exchange information through the Internet has become an integral part of everyday life and is rapidly transforming how people work in community settings,” DCF Secretary George Sheldon said. “We will continue to seek innovative ways to improve the lives of the children and families we serve while doing so efficiently and quickly.”
This software provides the Children's Legal Services attorneys with the secure remote capability to automatically download and refresh their case information, the ability to view case participant details, and to type in all required details needed to complete legal actions while in court. It also allows access to information on children and families from the Florida Safe Families Network (FSFN) while working in a connected or disconnected mode where mobile broadband signal is poor.
Florida is already a national leader in using technology for efficiently protecting the state’s most vulnerable. Florida is the first state in the nation to give caseworkers the technology to do their jobs in the field while checking on the nearly 18,500 Florida children in foster care. The smartphones and laptops include cameras using GPS to take photos of children that record the time, date and location. Caseworkers also can take notes, upload information and check on the status of their cases through Internet connections to the state’s child welfare database.
The Department’s work was recognized with an “Innovation in Public Sector” award at the 2010 Wireless Enterprise Symposium, a conference attended by more than 5,000 technology experts.
Children’s Legal Services is the Department's law firm representing the State of Florida in child welfare matters. For more information about the programs and services offered by the Florida Department of Children and Families, visit www.dcf.state.fl.us/