© The Quality Improvement Center for Workforce Development (QIC-WD)
The Implementation Team
The QIC-WD worked with the Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) to establish a Workforce Development Council to lead the development and implementation of their case-supportive technology intervention. The Workforce Development Council was composed of representatives from local departments of social services (LDSS), including frontline caseworkers, supervisors, and directors, as well as regional and state VDSS staff. Additional members of the Workforce Development Council included the Site Implementation Manager (SIM), the Data Coordinator, and four members of the QIC-WD (representing expertise in workforce, implementation, and two for evaluation given the expedited timeline of the project and multi-pronged intervention). The SIM and Data Coordinator positions were partially funded by the QIC-WD, all other representatives participated as part of the “other duties, as assigned” aspect of their job.
The Workforce Development Council met face-to-face at least semi-annually. The Council met more frequently as needed to support the project. In addition, VDSS and the QIC-WD team had bi-monthly project meetings and additional meetings to discuss data issues, as needed.
Preparing for Implementation
Two technology innovations made up Virginia’s intervention and each intervention was implemented individually: (1) a transcription service and (2) the COMPASS|Mobile application.
The feasibility of transcription services was pilot tested and subsequently VDSS chose a provider, FlexDictate, in the fall of 2017. In December 2017 and January 2018, VDSS deployed resources to initiate the intervention including staffing of transcribers, developing policies and procedures, and developing and providing training for staff. The uptake of transcription services was slower than expected and QIC-WD research uncovered some challenges during rollout. As a result, VDSS took several steps to increase the use transcription services including:
- Praised early adopters utilizing touts, an internal system for communicating to LDSS.
- Participated in local supervisors’ meetings to talk about transcription usage and early evaluation findings and to answer questions about the intervention.
- Coordinated assistance efforts with regional offices.
- Utilized “champion” sessions in which an experienced user spent time with less experienced users to encourage and assist with the use of the service
- Implemented “Power Up” sessions - quick training session to support transcription
- Reworked the transcription support staffing plan to enhance supports and improve turnaround times when it was discovered that a number of caseworkers were producing a large volume of dictations at unpredictable times.
A more formal implementation plan was developed by VDSS and the QIC-WD in preparation for implementation of COMPASS|Mobile. VDSS established the COMPASS team that:
- Engaged QIC-WD leaders and staff in the 18 localities selected for evaluation to help strategize and provide feedback on major aspects of the application.
- Identified champions across the state to communicate information about progress in the application development at the regional and local levels.
- Engaged frontline staff in different child welfare practice roles as testers to try the mobile application and provide feedback to ensure bugs, problems, and miscommunication could be corrected prior to the application going live.
- Sent out frequent rapid response surveys to engage caseworkers in opinions about mobile application modification decision points.
- Engaged directors, managers, supervisors and caseworkers through webinars, YouTube videos, eblasts, newsletters, face-to-face meetings, and workshops to keep them up to date on the mobile application capabilities and the implementation process.
After a year of planning and developing the application (app), the first COMPASS|Mobile workshop (referred to as a lab) was rolled out in September 2019. It covered the technical pieces of how to use the app and included a discussion of how the app could benefit children, families, and caseworkers. Lab attendees completed two eLearning courses and worked with their supervisor to prepare for implementation of the mobile solution prior to the lab. These prerequisites also provided an opportunity to orient attendees to their Apple iPad. COMPASS|Mobile was launched in October 2019 and training and initial distribution of iPads for caseworkers continued to occur across the Commonwealth through the end of January 2020. As new tools were added to the COMPASS|Mobile application, additional eLearnings were offered to prepare staff for new features, such as the addition of Doxy.me in April and May 2020 and the addition of Structured Decision Making tools in April 2021. Additional implementation supports included:
- “Eblasts” with important information regarding the implementation of and information about COMPASS|Mobile.
- An internal newsletter for LDSS staff.
- COMPASS|Lifeline calls were held Fridays for caseworkers and supervisors to provide ongoing support and technical assistance in utilizing the application. Lifeline topics were selected based on a user-survey that identified which functions users needed/wanted more assistance with and/or information about. Program-specific Lifeline calls were also conducted to focus on COMPASS|Mobile features from a program perspective. One Lifeline call focused on the use of transcription services with COMPASS|Mobile in order to complement the use of both tools.
- 2-hour virtual Roadshows that provide provided information and live demonstrations to support caseworkers in their use of COMPASS|Mobile,
- Virtual training sessions designed to build capacity for new caseworkers and more experienced caseworkers who needed additional support with COMPASS|Mobile. These sessions provided information and live demonstrations while caseworkers followed along on their own device.
- Infomercials (short videos) to spotlight features and enhancements of COMPASS|Mobile.
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