2017 NACo Achievement Award Winner

El Paso County, Colo., CO

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About the Program

Category: Human Services (Best in Category)

Year: 2017

El Paso County DHS vetted 15,668 reports of child abuse/neglect during 2016. Just over 40% of these (6,304) were investigated. By comparison, Denver County had Colorado’s second-highest number of reports in 2016: 11,239. That their report volume is 72% of El Paso’s goes some way toward explaining why the aforementioned process of “vetting” reports is commonly called “triage.” El Paso’s challenges are best characterized in terms of equity; the county lacked a managerial apparatus capable of monitoring and directing a balanced workflow at the onset of a potential case. The onus of triaging reports is distributed throughout the agency; workers, supervisors, and others take turns participating in the RED Teams that make these consensus decisions. From there, a single staff member was tasked with assigning these to roughly four-dozen workers. The development of a tool capable of generating monthly RED Team rosters was undertaken in the hope that it would more adequately address the county’s needs in these areas. This became the core upon which ARCADE (Archival Resource & Cyclic, Aggregate Data Exchange) was built. A series of interconnected Excel workbooks, ARCADE has eliminated upwards of 40 hours of work spent each month on RED Team scheduling, managed an evolving staff roster, provided a forum for consensus assignment of investigations, and has made a record of details often overlooked in the collection of bulk data. Since its implementation RED Team attendance has dramatically improved: full-team attendance has risen 25%. Months with compliant interview times have risen almost 40%.

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