SACWIS Assessment Review Process

After a state's automated child welfare system is operational, the Division of State Systems (DSS) conducts a review to assess the system's compliance to Federal regulations.  SACWIS data are used to support the State’s policy and practice and their data requirements and Federal reporting, such as Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS), National Youth and Transition Database (NYTD), National Child Abuse and Data Set (NCANDS)  and the Child and Family Services Review (CFSR) process.

A SACWIS/TACWIS assessment review helps a state or tribe:

  • Recognize its system’s conformity to federal requirements
  • Identify system deficiencies
  • Determine improvement or corrective action plans
  • Obtain technical assistance

After a SACWIS/TACWIS is in operational status, the Division of State Systems (DSS) conducts a week-long onsite view with an in-depth look at the system’s functionality. DSS assesses the SACWIS/TACWIS for the following:

  • Functionality requirements
  • Support of child welfare business practices throughout the state or tribe
  • Usage by front-line workers, supervisors, managers, and other functional positions that the state or tribe identifies as system users

Before the Onsite Review

The state or tribe must provide DSS with background information about its SACWIS/TACWIS application using the SACWIS Review Instrument (SRI) to record information about system functionality.  The SRI also includes organizational, operational and technical documentation that should be submitted. The state or tribe may also submit additional background materials as desired.  All submissions including the SRI document should be made electronically rather than in paper form.

The SRI became effective in July 2014, and replaces all previous versions of the SACWIS Assessment Review Guide (SARGe).  The SRI is used by fewer than 10 respondents per year. The data collection process is no longer subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act and the Office of Management and Budget’s clearance process.  A description of the SRI and guidance in its completion is available in Program Instruction 14-05.

States or tribes must complete the SRI at least six weeks prior to the review.  States or tribes should contact their DSS analyst to obtain a SRI template for their use. 

Closing the SRI

Initial findings are presented to the state or tribe at the review’s exit conference.  The exit conference is typically held within two or three weeks after the review visit.  Next, federal reviewers will use the SRI and the onsite review findings to assess compliance, identify technical assistance and compliance issues. The review is final and the SRI is closed when the state or tribe completes requested system modifications or develops acceptable action plans.For more information about creating acceptable action plans, states and tribes should review Action Plan Technical Bulletin #1.


Last Reviewed: June 12, 2015