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Ventura County - CalWIN Provides a
Article by Maria Gil-Moraga originally featured in Ventura, Human Services
Agency’s Horizons, Fall 2007
Based on a state mandate to automate its welfare delivery systems, the human
Services Agency decided to implement a software system called CalWIN (CalWORKs
Welfare information Network), along with a consortium of other California
counties. As a result of the CalWIN introduction in April 2006, the integration
of services was formally launched.
Service integration is initiated the moment a client enters one of our Intake
& Eligibility centers (IECs) and requests assistance. The client needs only
to complete a single application; the application is then taken by one worker
and processed for eligibility determination. In the past, a client could have
seen up to three intake workers, depending on the request for services. Now, a
single intake worker assesses the client’s needs and refers him or her to all
appropriate programs and services. This provides a seamless process for the
client and the intake worker, and this service integration allows easy
customer-service oriented navigation of the system.
With integration, we have streamlined the delivery process for client services,
improved efficiency, and maximized the agency’s resources in the investment of
staff time. In effect, we are working smarter, not harder. Integration has
significantly impacted how we respond to client needs, by allowing a single
worker to take a holistic view of each client’s current situation and provide
guidance on services available. The integration of services is customer
centered and has allowed for standardization of business processes throughout
the many different offices of the Human Services Agency. Because we are
interdependent on one another, service integration fosters good working
relationships among our staff, and allows us to fulfill the Agency’s vision of
a compassionate, healthy, and empowered community.
The integrated services approach unifies our office sites and established
consistency and efficiency in the delivery of our services. We believe that the
less time clients are in our waiting areas, the more time is available to them
for working toward becoming self-sufficient.