The state Department of Human Services will aim to lift the paperwork burden on social workers, by bringing in an outside firm to streamline the work of documenting cases. D-H-S spokesman Roger Munns says it’s a part of the agency’s pledge to do a better job of protecting children.One of the main elements of that is documentation — hoping to streamline the “fragmented” approach to cases. As laws and policies changed, reports were filed, and updates added to each file, the paperwork grows. He says you know it’s time to take a look at the problem when social workers tell you they spend one-third to half of their time just filling out reports. Munns says the need now is not to throw it out…but to make it all usable. The agency needs someone to take a look at it from the viewpoint of “the life of the case,” so all that documentation makes sense. A Maryland company called The Center for the Support of Families won the bid to handle the challenge. The nearly half-a-million dollars to do it will come from state money appropriated for the revamping of the agency and from federal matching funds. The agreement signed with the company will pay 486-thousand dollars and the streamlining project is to be complete in eight months.
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