Overview

IMPACT is the main computer system used by DFPS programs to record case information about the children and adults that the agency protects. DFPS uses IMPACT to document all stages of service of a case, including when someone reports abuse, neglect or exploitation (an intake) and when those cases are investigated.

IMPACT stands for "Information Management Protecting Adults and Children in Texas." DFPS is updating the system during a multi-year project called IMPACT Modernization.

Benefits of Modernization

The benefits of IMPACT Modernization include:

  • Less time spent in the system so staff can spend more time with clients.
  • Making the system easier to maintain and update to meet rapidly changing needs, policies, or laws.
  • Giving authorized external partners access to the system to increase collaboration.
  • Giving DFPS staff new work-management tools to quickly identify critical case-related tasks and deadlines.
  • Giving caseworkers and others more accurate and readily available data when providing services to families.
  • Greater safety awareness in all stages of cases.

Background

There are a number of reasons why the agency decided to modernize the system. DFPS built the IMPACT system in 1996. Its outdated technology was becoming cost-prohibitive and causing long delays in maintenance and upgrades. Also, the system was not designed to give access to external partners like CASA, law enforcement, or others. Allowing partners access to case data will improve collaboration in serving the needs of Texans.

Work to Date

Fiscal Years 2014-2015

Improvements Who Benefits Description

Case Connection

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) and their volunteers A new online tool that gives CASA staff and their volunteers access to select information from IMPACT case files, reducing their need to travel to CPS offices to retrieve hard copies.

Public Interactive Data Books

Public Provide interactive maps, charts and graphs on the DFPS website allowing you to search, configure, and download information across many years of data for all DFPS programs. These new data tools give DFPS stakeholders information they can use to identify grants or to address community needs.

Batch Modernization

DFPS staff Results in faster processing of background checks, foster and adoptive payments, records merges and purges, and more timely data exchanges with partner agencies.

Fiscal Year 2017

Improvements Who Benefits Description
Statewide Intake DFPS Staff

Redesigns the part of the system DFPS uses to record phoned-in reports alleging abuse, neglect and exploitation. These enhancements:

  • Automate how reports are routed to programs for investigation, and how notices are routed to law enforcement.
  • Help keep caseworkers safe by highlighting possible dangers at the homes they will investigate.
Texas Abuse Hotline Website Public Redesigns the secure website that professionals and the public use to report abuse, neglect, and exploitation online. The website uses dynamic questioning to collect better information and make reporting easier. A new safety section collects feedback about risks such as guns in a home or drug use to help protect caseworkers as they investigate cases. Also, the new website is mobile-friendly and accessible to people with disabilities.
Automated Background Checks System Child providers, contractors, DFPS staff. Modernizes the application DFPS staff and contractors use to submit background checks and manage supporting documents. These updates mean more accurate information and quicker turnarounds on background checks.
Case Connection Uploads CASA staff and volunteers, DFPS staff Allows CASA staff and their volunteers to upload into IMPACT documents on the children they serve, such as photos, health, school and legal records. Enhancements also make it easier for CASA staff and their volunteers to register to use the Case Connection tool which was built in 2014.
Insight DFPS staff New online quick-reference tools that help staff manage critical case tasks and deadlines. Since they are customized for various DFPS programs (APS, CPS, and CCL), and updated daily, they deliver the right data to the right person at the right time. DFPS is deploying Insight by program and region in 2017.

Improvements Planned for Fiscal Year 2017

Improvement Who Benefits Description

IMPACT Modernization Phase 2

DFPS Staff Will redesign the investigation stage in IMPACT for all DFPS programs to improve processes and to match simplified policies. Will create a new, easier-to-use interface for caseworkers.