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Protecting children with faster, more accurate processes

A government agency in Norway, Bufetat is the Office for Children, Youth and Family Affairs. It is responsible for state-funded child welfare and family counseling services nationwide.

In particular, it regulates facilities, foster homes, counseling and adoption services, and steps in to safeguard children who have been abused, orphaned or neglected.

An antiquated system of dealing with massive amounts of incoming documentation was coming between Bufetat’s caseworkers and their clients. Bufetat wanted to create an efficient, effective workflow across 5,600 caseworkers handling 7,500 new documents per month.

Bufetat was so pleased with its K2 Software solution that it shared it with Norway’s judicial committee, which makes decisions about complex child welfare cases and custody issues.

Capabilities Used
Application Development

Who they are

The Office for Children, Youth and Family Affairs (Bufetat) is the Norwegian agency responsible for state-funded child welfare and family counseling services nationwide.

What they needed

Bufetat needed to create an efficient workflow to support the 7,500 new documents its 5,000+ case workers handled each month.

How they did it

The agency used K2 Software to develop a bespoke case management system to initiate and automate key processes.

Massive amounts of paperwork

Challenge: Time-consuming processes

The services provided by Bufetat are not only vital but often urgent. The agency steps in to safeguard children who have been abused, orphaned and neglected. It delivers much-needed professional support for families in crisis and finds emergency accommodation for unaccompanied minors – anyone under 15 years old – seeking asylum from atrocities in other countries. In just the first five months of 2015, the agency intervened to help more than 13,650 young people.

As the number of children and families in need of assistance continued growth year after year, Bufetat decided to develop a new internal case management system to respond to service requests more efficiently. The organization received a large volume of correspondence every day and needed a better way to process these documents, as well as manage the status of individual cases. Bufetat was handling massive amounts of incoming documents the traditional way – by sorting and delivering it by hand to its 5,600 caseworkers and employees. Documents were not always making it to the right people at the right time. Team members were unaware when the status of cases was updated and necessary documents had been received.

The system lacked visibility into what was happening and which caseworker was taking action. Managers weren’t able to review the status of cases without speaking directly to caseworkers, costing valuable time in chasing down information.

Bufetat wanted to cut through its own red tape to better perform its mission. It wanted to see what was happening on a day-to-day basis and standardize the steps to be taken by each caseworker.

Solution: Clean, intelligent automation

Bufetat developed a bespoke case management system called BiRK and integrated K2 Software to initiate and automate key processes. In total, BiRK incorporates around 35 different processes, which apply to a variety of child welfare circumstances.

This pivotal new system is now used daily by everyone who works with children in the agency, including more than 5,600 caseworkers. Every month, around 7,500 new documents are received and scanned by Bufetat. Nintex K2 Five automatically assigns each of these incoming documents to a caseworker and stipulates a number of tasks based on pre-defined processes. Caseworkers then review the documents, decide what actions are required and initiate new workflows to manage subsequent actions.

“Nintex K2 Five workflows support the entire case management process, from the moment a new incoming document is scanned, until an outcome is decided,” said Magne Teigen, senior IT advisor at Bufetat.

K2 Software ensures that all incoming documents are actioned in line with government procedures, so the organization can be positive that all of its caseworkers have a consistent approach to handling very high volumes of work. In just one year, more than 356,000 workflows were initiated.

In addition, Bufetat’s senior managers gain greater visibility and control with K2 Software. They can see the status of different cases, monitor how many tasks are allocated to each caseworker and redirect tasks to different employees, if necessary. Nintex K2 Five workflows also improve financial control, making it easier for managers to verify invoices from providers of childcare and child services before accounts are settled.

Bufetat is so proud of its K2 Software processes and BiRK case management system that it has shared its knowledge with a partner organization called FYLKESNEMNDA – the judicial committee of Norway that makes decisions about complex child welfare and custody issues. FYLKESNEMNDA now plans to use Bufetat’s K2 Software workflow framework as a best practice model in its own development of an internal case management system.

K2 Software helps us to work efficiently and provide urgent help for children in desperate need of accommodation, protection and support.
Magne Teigen, Senior IT Advisor, Bufetat
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