By: David Kilgore, CA DCSS Director
Last year was a very transformative year for our program with lots of changes and new projects set to be tackled in 2019. As we set our intentions and path for this year, I wanted to share some of the goals and plans I hope to see us accomplish.
• Strategic Plan: We are in the fifth and final year of our current Statewide Strategic Plan. By September 30th, we’ll need to have a new Strategic Plan in place that will guide our program into the future. We hope to engage all CA DCSS staff, as well as all the staff in the local child support agencies (LCSAs) in the process of building this plan. If this goes as we hope, we’ll be using a version of crowd sourcing to pull everyone’s ideas together into a well-thought-out plan for moving forward. Key elements to this plan include our efforts to rebrand our program. A lot has to be lined up and changed in order for that new brand to happen and this will be our road map to making that come true.
• Agile Implementation: Last year CA DCSS hosted the first-ever “Hackathon” to which we invited LCSA staff to come help lend their experience and expertise to the Requests for Change (RFC) sitting in the department’s project portfolio. That event was such a huge success, what we’d like to see is our program move towards a true agile framework where we don’t necessarily need the concerted effort involved in organizing the Hackathon, but that integrating both business and technology into combined teams for the duration of the RFC that they are working on. I’m excited to see just how many RFCs can be completed with the additional autonomy and delegated authority to make decisions and drive to resolutions.
• Project Blueprint: While this project is not likely to be concluded this year, the effort to move our system to the cloud remains one of my top priorities. With a little luck and a lot of pushing, nagging, and tenacity, we’ll be able to secure the clearance we need to truly move this project forward. This will take up a lot of our resources and capacity, but the reward will be worth the effort.
• Forms Modernization: This effort, as you have read in all the OCM newsletters, has been humming along. Testing has been taking place and gone well. In a few months, we’ll be implementing in Fresno and then rolling this project out to other counties. This has been a huge effort and the improvements this will have on our program will be significant!
Lots of other changes are on the horizon, a new Governor for starters, and he has made clear that his focus will be on healthcare, parents, children, and education. Specifically, a major focus will be what’s happening within the Health and Human Services Agency—to which we belong. The Governor released his 2019-2020 budget proposal earlier this month and I want to thank all of the CA DCSS staff and LCSA staff who worked tirelessly over the last two years to make the case for a $61 million increase over last year’s budget, which was included in the Governor’s budget proposal. The effort took some twists and turns, involved many participants of all levels within CA DCSS and the LCSAs, countless workgroup meetings and constructive discussions. All of the struggles culminated this past Fall budget season when the workgroup participants built a funding model based on data measuring the level of effort it takes to work child support cases, operate call centers, and provided an overall standard for how LCSA operations should be funded. Although this funding proposal is a major milestone, it is not the finish line. The proposal must now be reviewed by both houses of the Legislature, there will be budget hearings with legislators, budget committees, the Legislative Analyst’s Office, and other stakeholders. The proposal needs to pass all of these hurdles and be included in the 2019 Budget Act to reach the end. Fingers crossed!
I look forward to another successful year with all of you, thank you for all of the work you do.