Modernizing Case Management to Better Serve Children

To streamline its reporting, billing, and case management processes for more than 800 staff and attorneys, Office of the Child’s Representative needed a system as intuitive as it is efficient. OCR needed to modernize their current system in order to better serve children and improve their financial stewardship of state funds.

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The Office of Child’s Representative (OCR) gives voice to Colorado’s children by providing effective legal representation and advocacy on behalf of children in Colorado’s Court System. The agency oversees attorneys who provide legal representation for children as guardians ad litem (GAL), counsel for children in dependency and neglect proceedings, and child legal representatives (CLR).

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The Problem

An appointed attorney independently investigates, makes recommendations for the best interests of the child, and advocates on that child’s behalf. All billing functions and the detailed activity logs these attorneys must keep were operating on a legacy system called Colorado Attorney Reimbursement Electronic System (CARES), in which case management was cumbersome and billing management was needlessly complex. To support the attorneys with easier-to manage data entry and access, and to provide the OCR team with streamlined billing, OCR selected Resultant. They were interested in building a custom web-based case management and billing application that would make everyone’s lives easier and give them more time to help children.

We began by listening deeply to the people who would use the solution, probing to find which details mattered to them. Among their concerns:

  • Allowing attorneys to review detailed aggregated invoicing reports of their billing before submitting for payment
  • Implementing specific legal privacy protocols
  • Case information searchability as a major timesaver and boost to efficacy
  • Ability to upload documents—sometimes even handwritten notes—on the fly
  • Simplifying billing to support the agency’s primary objective to reimburse attorneys

The Outcome

The system has been well-received by over 800 staff and independently contracted attorneys who provide services to children in Colorado. CARES II on GCP has streamlined billing and given OCR other efficiencies and cost savings through modifications, enhancements, and integrations facilitated by the Resultant team. The new system has reduced support and operating costs compared to maintaining an outdated legacy system. The Case Profile section captures and maintains case information and establishes an attorney’s relationship to the case:

  • Cases are searchable, new cases can be created, and case statuses can be changed.
  • There’s a permanent record of all people who are or become relevant to the case, such as social workers, teachers, and grandparents.
  • Notes from appointments are recorded and tracked.
  • Activities are broken down by specifics and differentiated as billable or non-billable.

The flexible system architecture allows many functionalities:

  • The system sends automated notifications to attorneys and team members.
  • Invoicing is streamlined, and the system generates enterprise resource planning (ERP) transaction records for each invoice.
  • A budget mapping code maps activity items to the state budget.
  • The system reconciles ERP funds internally.
  • The logical data module allows OCR to easily generate numerous reports related to children, cases, attorneys, activities, and appointments.
  • Auditing ensures data integrity.
  • System administrators can add or edit tables.

CARES II users find it to be intuitive and easy to use, and report that it offers tremendous improvements over the legacy CARES system— particularly in tracking activities for billing. Mapping billable activities directly to the state budget increases OCR’s financial stewardship of state funds. The increased efficiency of CARES II lets OCR and the attorneys they support spend more time doing what they do best: serving the children of Colorado.

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