16 June 2016

Connecting carers and communities through enterprise search

Tags:News, Search, Squiz

Department of Families and Community Services selects Squiz to connect carers and communities through enterprise search

Following a tender process, the NSW Department of Families and Community Services has selected Squiz’s enterprise search solution to enable effective and value-driven search within the ChildStory platform

The NSW Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) has today announced they have selected Squiz, an Australian-based technology services partner driving digital transformation for clients, to deliver the enterprise search component of its ChildStory platform. The decision was made following a tender process.

Squiz’s enterprise search solution, Funnelback, enables organisations to search for information from multiple sources, and tailor the way content is displayed to enable organisations to make informed decisions.

ChildStory will replace a number of existing IT systems with one integrated platform that is easy to use and supports FACS staff to do more of what they know works. Enterprise search had been a major pain point for FACS, as child protection involves high volumes of complex unstructured information when working with children, understanding their history, and identifying suitable actions to support their wellbeing. Funnelback will enable FACS to solve these challenging issues and leverage Funnelback’s insights capability to make intelligent and relevant recommendations to case workers and other associated players, including FACS and NGO staff.

Program Director Lisa Alonso Love says that ChildStory is a great opportunity for children, families, caseworkers, and their partners, as the program “provides tools that help us work together and gather the stories of children who are vulnerable and need child protection services”.

FACS selected Squiz among a range of vendors because of the team’s ability to connect and understand the necessary technology from the end-user’s perspective and having a system that was intuitive and values-based for case workers, families, and carers was key to the selection process.

“To deliver ChildStory we have chosen technology partners who have demonstrated that they understand the challenge and have the right technology to support child protection in NSW” says Alonso Love.

The key challenge for FACS was integrating and leveraging the broad range of data that was available but siloed in different information systems. By partnering with Squiz, FACS can intelligently add value to searches through the sophistication of the Funnelback tool.

“Sharing information is a key element of good casework and ChildStory will be developed in a way that allows this information to be available to make the best possible decisions” said ChildStory Program Director Greg Wells. “This is a fantastic opportunity to use innovative design and technology to improve how we provide child protection services and make the most of the skills the sector has”.

Squiz has worked alongside FACS through the Implementation Planning Study phase of the program to plan the design and implementation of the new enterprise search system. The Squiz team is co-locating with the ChildStory team from FACS, as well as other vendors supporting this project, at a unique workspace specially planned to drive collaboration, teamwork, and agile methods of project management and implementation.

“We are proud to have been selected by FACS to support them with the development and delivery of ChildStory,” said John-Paul Syriatowicz, Group CEO of Squiz. “The work of FACS and ChildStory, and the impact this platform could have on the community to keep children safe is phenomenal. We are thrilled to be working with such a motivated and driven team to build a sophisticated, but easy-to-use, technology solution that will create a real impact on the community and the department.”

For more information on ChildStory, please visit www.childstory.net.au.

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