Child welfare system behind

A Florida child welfare data collection system that has been under development since 1994 has been delayed until 2005, and its costs have ballooned by $42.1 million to $252.6 million, according to a state auditor's report released Aug. 26.

The Florida Children and Family Services Department's HomeSafenet is a management information system mandated by federal law to manage child welfare data. It will replace six legacy systems in the department and various manual procedures, according to a report issued by Auditor General William Monroe.

The auditors disclosed that HomeSafenet development has been prolonged by delays in federal approval, unsuccessful procurement attempts, development strategy changes, function changes, system architecture changes, poor productivity and management turnover.

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