State and Tribal Information Systems

Child welfare information systems are case management systems that serve as the record hubs for all children and families receiving child welfare support. Federal funding is available to both state and tribal title IV-E agencies to develop and maintain these automated systems.

Proposed Rule on SACWIS/TACWIS

The Division of State Systems (DSS) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to revise regulations regarding Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information Systems (SACWIS) and Tribal Automated Child Welfare Information Systems (TACWIS) and to rename the systems as the Comprehensive Child Welfare Information Systems (CCWIS). Documents that provide an overview of these changes are available below. The NPRM itself is in the Federal Register.

Division of State Systems

The Children's Bureau's Division of State Systems (DSS) supports state and tribal title IV-E agencies in developing and operating child welfare information systems.

The following are DSS's key responsibilities:

  • Support state and tribal child welfare information systems through partnerships, collaborative efforts, and technical assistance activities regarding development, maintenance, and operations
  • Provide guidance on and respond to Advance Planning Documents (APDs) and procurement documents, such as requests for proposals and contracts
  • Coordinate the development and implementation of strategies and policies related to child welfare information technology (IT) for the Administration for Children and Families
  • Conduct assessments and ongoing reviews of child welfare information systems
  • Sponsor relevant training, initiatives, and programs

Contact DSS

A DSS analyst is assigned to each state, territory, or tribe with a title IV-E agency. The analyst is available to respond to questions, provide technical assistance, and serve as the primary contact for APD submissions. Click the link below to view a listing of the assignments for each DSS analyst.

Child Welfare Information Systems

Child welfare information systems are automated case management tools that support child welfare practice. Title IV-E agencies are encouraged to build information systems that meet their unique business needs. DSS provides regulatory oversight of and generates regulatory and subregulatory guidance on the development and operations of these information systems.

Child welfare information system data are used to support state and tribal policy and practice, as well as federal reporting, auditing, and review requirements.

Child welfare information systems are paid for by the state or tribal agency with federal financial participation. Projects to develop these systems and the related federal funding requests are detailed in the APDs.

Child Welfare IT Federal Guidance

The Children’s Bureau and other federal entities have developed numerous policy and technical documents to assist states and tribes in planning, developing, and implementing a child welfare information system. This page offers statutes, regulations, and other federal government issuances related to child welfare IT.

How to Send a Formal Submission

This page provides information about how to send a formal submission for federal approval.

For SACWIS/TACWIS Managers

This page contains information useful to child welfare IT managers, state and tribal staff, and state and tribal leadership who are planning, developing, or maintaining a SACWIS or TACWIS. SACWIS/TACWIS is an option title IV-E agencies from states, tribes, and the District of Columbia may pursue for their child welfare information system and which offers enhanced cost allocation along with federally defined requirements.

Child Welfare IT Managers Listserv

DSS maintains the Child Welfare IT Managers listserv to alert state or tribal staff about important updates, child welfare IT webinars, and scheduled child welfare IT manager conference calls. Contact Laurie Ducca to join this listserv.

Child Welfare Technical Working Group (CWTWG)

CWTWG represents child welfare IT projects and supports DSS's efforts to provide guidance and technical assistance to title IV-E agency efforts to plan, develop, implement, operate, and maintain a child welfare information system. CWTWG includes DSS staff and volunteer state and tribal project managers.

Child Welfare IT Training Resources

The Children's Bureau holds monthly webinars for state and tribal child welfare staff. DSS, state, and tribal staff present innovative techniques used to overcome common challenges faced by state and tribal agencies. This page offers links to the webinars produced by DSS.

Child Welfare IT Resources

This page provides information about standards used in the development of child welfare information systems and tools used in child welfare practice.

Last Reviewed: May 25, 2016