Should Michigan CPS Replace Their Flawed Multi-million Dollar Software? (Pt 2)

Hey there, thanks for joining us for this look at the serious issue faced by Michigan CPS right now – what to do about their terrible software. As we mentioned in the previous article, the federal court required Kurt Heisler, an independent consultant, to do a complete analysis and figure out what was wrong with the software. Turns out the answer is pretty much “everything”, but Heisler provided the court with a detailed list of the key issues he thinks need to be addressed, including:

  • The flawed design of the software, and the launching program which together cause ongoing problems for users:

According to Heisler, the software’s poor design and the faulty launching program it uses include “an unmanageable backlog of defects, incidents, and data fixes that are likely to persist indefinitely, inhibit effective casework, contribute to data entry errors, negatively affect outcomes for children and families, and impact MDHHS’s ability to collect and report accurate and timely … data for both the monitors and field staff.”

  • Conflict between teams makes fixing the errors almost impossible:

Heisler says that there’s “significant conflict and tension” between the software integration team and CPS workers, which makes it very difficult for caseworkers to improve MiSACWIS in any meaningful way.

  • There are too many problems and too little time to address them:

The developers who created the software are aware of all the many things wrong with the system, Heisler says, but they simply don’t have the time, or the resources, to fix them. The backlogs needing to be dealt with are apparently far too large for the team currently trying to manage them. Providing developers with the tools they need to root out and address the issues in the software would make a big difference to how it operates.

  • Not enough time for proper quality assurance checks:

According to Heisler, MDHHS is overworked and understaffed. Workers struggle with huge workloads, very tight deadlines, and limited resources, which leaves their hands tied when it comes to review how well the system works. Easing back on the work loads, or hiring more people to help staff meet demands would allow workers to run the quality assurance checks that are so desperately needed.

So what is MDHHS going to do about it?

According to department officials at MDHHS, the agency is making an effort to address some of the issues that the federal court has raised recently. These include providing financial incentives for relatives to become licensed foster parents in Michigan, strengthen reviews done at local child welfare offices of the maltreatment that happens to children while they’re in foster care, and adding oversight of child abuse and neglect complaints that don’t meet the state’s criteria for investigation. As for what they plan to do about their crappy software, we’ll have to wait a few more months for that answer.

Is CPS mistaken about you as well?

CPS has a long history of making mistakes. And who can blame them? The software they rely on to track cases is garbage, and their workers are often improperly trained. So they’re rarely in possession of all the facts. But that doesn’t seem to stop them making allegations against innocent people! So if CPS is falsely accusing you of child abuse or neglect, call 866 766 5245 right now, and get help from skilled CPS defense attorneys with experience battling this flawed agency. We have been fighting for parent’s rights in Michigan for decades and winning. We can help you too.

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