North Carolina DHHS Employee talks about SACWIS
Author: George Kennedy
Also on USWGO Alternative News
Note: These statements are all sent to me by Kevin Kelley via email under Public Records Law. Also I told him that I am a reporter and that I am writing a article using the information gathered. I also signed up for USWGO and will submit the information to other newspaper sources.
Kevin Kelley talks about the SACWIS National Database System. SACWIS Stands for Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information System and it is being implemented from state to state. Kevin says to me in emails that is subject to the North Carolina Public Records Law all kinds of answers to my questions regarding the SACWIS System.
Kevin Kelley is a Assistant Section Chief of Child Welfare Services (Child Protective Services) of the NC DHHS Division of Social Services and has agreed to answer some questions regarding SACWIS database system for this article.
So these were the questions that Kevin Kelley was able to answer:
Question: So how is it useful in protecting kids?
Answer: With complete information, caseworkers will be better equipped to make the best decisions for children and families. This is particularly helpful in safety related decisions. Also, by reducing the amount of paperwork, social workers will have more time to spend with families.
Question: Also what specifically are you doing to set up SACWIS for your state?
Answer: While NC is not electing to follow the SACWIS requirements, we are developing a case management system for DSS. To read more about NC FAST, please visit: http://www.ncdhhs.gov/ncfast/
Question: and how will it help the families?
Answer: Aside from issues mentioned above about protecting kids, families will not have to repeat some processes, such as giving their information when applying for a program, if they are already receiving services/benefits in another program.
Question: um I don’t understand what benefits and services you are referring to. Do you mean like food stamps, unemployment benefits, Public Housing, Medicaid, Social Security benefits and things like that?
Answer (Link put in using research appropriate to his answer): Those benefits/programs that are within the scope of NC FAST.
Namely, Medicaid – including Health Choice and future health insurance options, as well as Food and Nutrition Services (previously referred to as Food Stamps) TANF or Work First, and energy assistance.
Hope this helps.
Question: So how is the information obtained?
Answer: I am not sure I understand the question, So how is the information obtained?If you are asking how the information gets into the automation system, then the answer is, the data is entered at the county where the case was handled.
If I have misunderstood, then please clarify.
Question: Do unfounded accusations stay in the system for future investigations?
Answer: All information is retained, so yes, prior unfounded accusations are maintained for future investigations.
Question: So I was wondering if this is a federal program and is it going nationwide?
Answer: In terms of SACWIS, federal jurisdictions are eligible, but this is optional, not required.
Question: What will happen if a state decides not to comply with the SACWIS Requirements?
Answer: SACWIS is an optional funding and requirements program.
No negative action can be taken against the 10 or so states that have opted not to request the funding, and meet the requirements.
Question: will the person of interest be notified when they are added into sacwis?
Answer: No special notice is given.
Question: and how are they notified?
Answer: The client would be given various programmatic notifications, depending on the state.
So according to the answers given by Kevin Kelley people may or may not be given special notices when a social worker adds any information to a persons record in relation to a particular child abuse case. Also Supplemental Security Income, Medicaid, Food Stamps (EBT), and other benefits programs are in connection into this child abuse database system. Also unfounded accusations are also added within the records system whether it be founded by a reasonable amount of evidence or not. Also states can decide to be elected to join into this interconnected state to state automated child welfare information system.
After that I have not received any more emails so he has decided to not answer any more of my questions regarding SACWIS but this brings more light into what SACWIS is, what it does, and what it is about.