Kingston, Jamaica: The Child Development Agency (CDA) launched the second phase of its Child Case Management System (CCMS) on Wednesday, 16th August, 2017 at its headquarters at Duke Street, Kingston.
The case management software, Sohema (Social & Health Management Software) is a customised software application capable of enabling Jamaica’s Child Protection System to introduce the use of technological solutions into its operations in order to bring about improvement in its processes, increase ability to track client information and manage case load, create a platform for standardization and to improve overall productivity and service delivery.
The system was developed in three interlinked project phases. This Phase was supported by United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to the tune of JA$16,380.600 through the ‘Transitional Living Programme for Children in State Care’ project. The project, which involves a multi-dimensional approach to preparing wards of the State to transition into independent living, is being implemented through the collaborative efforts of The University of the West Indies Open Campus and the Child Development Agency.
In acknowledging the efforts of the CDA, Ms. Rebecca Robinson, Acting Mission Director, USAID Jamaica stated that a well updated and maintained database will bolster the capacity of the CDA to respond to the needs of the wards of the State, right from the time they enter the child protection system to the time they exit care. She expressed confidence that “enhanced data management will help to document the needs of wards in care and assist in planning their transition from care.”
The Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Floyd Green, in his remarks, lauded the partnership with USAID and The University of the West Indies, indicating that the CCMS is one of many fruits. The CCMS he noted will reduce the inefficiencies inherent in manual records, and will significantly improve the agency’s capacity to respond to cases of child abuse which currently averages 1200 per month.
Meanwhile, CEO of the CDA, Mrs. Rosalee Gage-Grey said that the CCMS will revolutionize the Child Protection Sector once access is extended to other agencies. “Our officers will be able to efficiently track clients and cases as well as dedicate their time to servicing our children; every child must be given an opportunity to achieve their full potential,” she added.
Sohema is developed by Avocette, a Canadian information technology firm and aims to replace CDA’s manual business processes; in particular, its client information and case load management. The automation of the child case management process, according to the CDA, is estimated to result in a 75 percent reduction in manually driven transactions and advance quality assurance for individual clients