HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) has announced the launch of Child Welfare Information Solution (CWIS) at an event in Camp Hill. CWIS is a state-of-the-art, case management system that allows for real-time electronic sharing of state and county information critical to administering the child welfare program.
“The launch of CWIS has been years in the making and I could not be more proud to say, we will have critical statewide child welfare information from each county now available at the state level,” said DHS Secretary Bev Mackereth. “County caseworkers will have access to data through this system that will arm them with information to assist in efforts to better protect children.”
The creation of a single abuse and neglect database is now permitted by Act 29 of 2014 which amended the Child Protective Services Laws and enables DHS to collect reports from county children and youth agencies on child abuse and children who are in need of general protective services.
CWIS will improve child safety, modernize processes and increase program integrity. By allowing for the exchange of information across counties and with real-time data, DHS can use CWIS to eliminate gaps in information throughout the life of a case.
Mandated reporters will also benefit from this modernized system; individuals can submit reports of suspected child abuse and neglect electronically to ChildLine, a 24-hour hotline to report suspected child abuse.
In addition to reporting abuse, individuals seeking child abuse clearances will now be able to submit applications and pay electronically. Applicants will receive faster results electronically and will be able to securely print their results by logging into their account. ChildLine processed over 600,000 child abuse clearances last year.
In addition to CWIS, 23 pieces of legislation were recently enacted, changing how Pennsylvania responds to child abuse. These changes will significantly impact the reporting, investigation, assessment, prosecution and judicial handling of child abuse and neglect cases.
“Protecting Pennsylvania’s children from abuse and neglect is a shared responsibility. It requires collaboration from the formal child protective services system, community partners and our citizens to provide local safety nets for children and families that are facing challenges within our communities and neighborhoods,” Mackereth said. “Governor Corbett’s commitment to this issue and the bipartisan support from the house and senate have allowed us to enact some landmark legislation.”
For more information, visit www.keepkidssafe.pa.gov. To apply for a PA Child Abuse History Clearance online, visit www.compass.state.pa.us/cwis. Mandated reporters may also go to www.compass.state.pa.us/cwis to report suspected abuse.