Introduction to the TFACTS Communication and Readiness Team

October 16, 2009

The TFACTS Communication and Readiness (C/R) Team would like to give you an overview of our strategy and approach for delivering TFACTS information to all those who will eventually be using TFACTS. Read about our team and how we are working with your local site through Local Implementation Support Teams to keep you informed about TFACTS.



October 1, 2009

Thanks to everyone who submitted TFACTS questions–keep them coming! Please send questions via Groupwise e-mail to: EI DCS TFACTS Feedback

Here is our second installment of TFACTS Q&A:

Will the information that is now on the G and W drive be sent to the FFA in TFACTS, or will all those FFA’s not be in the TFACTS system?

The FFA information currently stored will not be converted to TFACTS, although it will still be available to reference. Program management is still making decisions about how to handle the new input of information into the FFA available in TFACTS, such as possibly starting to put current information in from the next due date following implementation. Of course, you will be able to start entering information that will populate the FFA, from other assessments, right away as well.

Will the new TFACTS system be able to send a notification of pending intakes needing assignment? Or any type of alert to help with this?

There are two types of Intakes that will be managed via Intake workload screens in TFACTS: CPS Intakes and Other (Non-CPS) Intakes. TFACTS will provide for the assignment of a regional CPS staff person by Central Intake, who will then in turn be able to assign the Intake to a CPS Worker. The worker can then link the Intake to a Case if needed. Other (Non-CPS) Intakes (ICPC/ICJ, Out of State Courtesy, Post-Custody, etc.) will be generated directly from the Other (Non-CPS) Intake workload screen. However, no alerts or notifications (e-mails) were identified to prompt the regional staff when Intakes are created, so monitoring of the Intake workload screens will be necessary.

I need specific filters for the work I do in recruiting resource parents. I do pray that your design will enable me to filter by date and county. The report pull capabilities are currently archaic and not even that useful.

Most of the TFACTS reporting will be generated from data stored in a data warehouse that will be updated nightly from TFACTS. Reports generated from the data warehouse will be similar to the current Resource Home dashboard rather than the reports you see in TNKids today. These reports will be generated using current technology. These newer technologies will allow users to interact with reports through drill down capabilities, and to filter reports at a very granular level such as child data, case data, county data, date ranges, zip codes, placement types, etc. to create their own reports. These can then be saved for re-use or emailed to others as needed. These data warehouse reports will be easily accessible via the web very similar to the way TFACTS will be accessed. In addition to the reports generated from the data warehouse, there will be a select number of canned financial and other reports available directly from TFACTS.

Can a system be worked in that will allow us to filter by county when searching for a child. For example when we search in the current TN Kids and we don’t have a DOB or middle initial then 50 J. Smith’s could come up, but if we are looking for a child in a particular county that would assist in the search.

Unfortunately, it will not be possible to search by county in TFACTS when implemented. The feature will allow workers to search on more criteria (narrow the search) than TNKids, so the possibility of returning duplicate persons will be less likely. The confidence match in TNKids is not very reliable, for the most part. TFACTS will have an enhanced Person Search that will present better match options, using the Informatica Identity Resolution (IIR system).

The TFACTS Person Search will offer the same searchable fields as in TNKids (Person ID, SSN, or Name) and just like TNKids, users will still be able to narrow the search down by including fields such as DOB, Gender and Race. However, you’ll have the option of narrowing down a search even further by searching for street addresses in TFACTS.

TFACTS will also provide the ability to search by a particular category, such as Person Search, Intake Search, Case Search, Resource Search or Employee Search. All you’ll have to do is click on the appropriate tab. Currently, the worker has to scroll down the left navigation and treasure hunt for a particular module to search on (i.e. to search for Resource Home, for example) in TNKids.

Currently in TNKids it is difficult to find the resource family’s phone number for our FSW’s. It would be great to have an easy, obvious means to find this information. We need to be able to use this as a reference to get a phone number of where our children are placed.

This information will be available in the Resource Address tab under Resource Basic Information in TFACTS. This information will also be available by using Search options (described above).

Information can be stolen when transmitted wirelessly- what if TFACTS was accessed through a wi-fi system? Can security be maintained under those conditions? What have you put in place to monitor for security and confidentiality?

1) Our users will be authorized for access to TFACTS much as they are currently authorized to use other DCS systems. Obviously, just as they do now, users will need to keep their credentials (usernames/passwords) private and not share those credentials with anyone. Our best defense against intrusion is for our users to keep and use good security practices, such as ensuring they have strong passwords and that those passwords are kept secret.

2) The TFACTS web application is being built using industry standard web security protocols such as SSL (Secure Socket Layer) data encryption to protect data while it’s in transit from your computer to the server and back.

3) Our TFACTS server farm is housed at the State’s Data Center in Nashville– the Data Center uses state of the art architecture to ensure the security of the data housed on those servers.

TFACTS Survey Results

September 16, 2009

The TFACTS Communication and Readiness Team would like to sincerely thank everyone who took the time to complete the TFACTS Survey! The results are helping us, and the members of your TFACTS Local Implementation Support Teams, develop ways to more effectively get information out to everyone about TFACTS. Please find a summary of the results posted here:

The Adoption Case in TFACTS

September 10, 2009

Here is a detailed overview of how the Adoption Case will function in TFACTS. A number of processes currently done outside of TNKids will be available in the new system.

Intakes in TFACTS

September 1, 2009

TFACTS is a comprehensive system that will include features that are currently spread out among many different systems and processes. This will afford us the opportunity to share information and work together as a team like never before. As part of our effort to share information about TFACTS, we’ve developed a theme that reflects the ability to better work together in this way–the TFACTS Virtual Village. Each week, we will introduce a different part of the Village.

This installment of the “TFACTS Virtual Village” is focused on our neighbors in Central Intake. Enjoy!


August 26, 2009

Many of you responded to the request for feedback on the TFACTS Tidbits sent from the Commissioner’s e-mail—thank you! The TFACTS Communication and Readiness Team will be posting responses to the commonly asked questions, and will continue working on other ways to get information out. Here is our initial installment of TFACTS Q & A:

Will we have the ability to scan documents and photographs into TFACTS?

Yes, there will be document management capability with TFACTS. There are plans to establish multi-functional devices that can scan, copy, print, and fax. However, there are still discussions taking place based on budgetary and procurement issues. We’ll get more information out about this when we know what the availability will look like. We will be able to upload electronic files.

Will more people be getting laptops? Or will we at least be able to access TFACTS from our personal computers? Will there be any voice recognition for those who prefer to dictate?

There are discussions about getting more laptops, to possibly include netbooks for some staff (particularly CPS). Air cards or other methods of accessing the internet un-tethered for those routinely in areas without internet connectivity are being considered. However, this is another area where there are still discussions taking place based on budgetary and procurement issues. We’ll get more information out about this when we know what the availability will look like.

It will be possible to access TFACTS from any computer connected to the internet, although some minimum system requirements do apply. The speech recognition feature is not available. However the application is expected to have 508A Compliance and enable visually impaired users to navigate through the application with voice prompts.

I don’t know if the TFACTS development team has engaged end users from the regions but I think it will make TFACTS a far better system if they do. It is easier to develop a system to meet end user requirements during development than to make modifications to accommodate them after system introduction.

The TFACTS system design work was done using a process called Joint Application Design or “JAD.” The teams included Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) representing the Regions and Central Office staff from across program areas. The SMEs were heavily involved in the process, worked hard to ensure that our requirements were built into the system to the extent possible, and were mindful of the day to day needs of our workers. This doesn’t mean that every function will please every worker Day 1. It does mean that a lot of thought and effort was put into this, and the perspective of folks who do the work was considered.

I think this is a great endeavor if it allows staff to have computer access to the various programs connected to our work responsibilities. This would allow for more flexibility if we are able to conduct computer required tasks.

TFACTS will actually replace most of the applications we currently use, including TNKids, TNKids Financials, PSG, Chipfins, the CANS and SIR/CIR Web Applications, and others. Quite a number of things that we currently do outside of the system, such as by using forms, have been built right into TFACTS. Over 70 forms will be available in TFACTS—many of them will come pre-populated with information straight from your case. More information will be forthcoming, by program area, about the ways TFACTS will change how you currently do your work.

If you can connect anywhere there is an internet connection: Will I, a CM II, be able to enter case notes from home? How will access to TFACTS work?

There are still decisions that have to be made about the appropriate use of TFACTS outside of the office and after work hours. Some who responded expressed concern about whether this may burn staff out, or that there may be increased expectations placed on staff. A lot of work is being done to review and update policies, practice guidelines and administrative issues to match up with what TFACTS will allow us to do.

Access to TFACTS will be based on security profiles, which will be tailored to system functions particular users need to do their jobs. Access to Case functions and Resource functions can be limited by assignment as well. There will be Read access to many general functions, and other capabilities (Update and Delete, for example) will be based on approved security.

Assessments in TFACTS

May 29, 2009

The process of Assessment takes place at all times throughout a child and family’s involvement with the Department of Children’s Services. The upcoming TFACTS system will assist workers with utilizing these tools, and assessments will be available from one place in the system instead of from several different places. Check out the slide show to see how this will work.

Thomas Jones, Director of Assessment and Services Integration