December 2014
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GIS Case Study – DCFS Referral Address Verification System (RAVS)

Referral Address Verification Systems (RAVS)

Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS)

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Problem: DCFS Child Protection Hotline (CPH) has no means of determining the accuracy of the referral address to appropriately assign referrals to Regional Office and cross reporting to Law Enforcement Agency.
Solution:The Referral Address Verification System (RAVS) has greatly improved the accuracy of DCFS addresses; resulting in more accurate referral assignments to Regional Offices and cross reporting to Law Enforcement Agencies; thus, improving response times, lower costs, and better outcomes for children.
Summary:LA County, Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) Child Protection Hotline (CPH) responds to an average of 150,000 calls each month.  Approximately 6,000 of the referral calls lead to the assignment of the referral to the DCFS Regional Emergency Response workers for an in-person investigation of child abuse or neglect allegation(s) and/or possible removal of the child from the home if safety risk is determined. By law, DCFS creates a cross report (SCAR – Suspected Child Abuse Report) to the Law Enforcement agency responsible for the DCFS Regional Office catchment area.

Unfortunately, many of the addresses provided by callers are inaccurate; this results in wrong assignments of referrals to Regional Offices and cross reporting to Law Enforcement agencies, further increasing the children’s safety and risk factors.

The Referral Address Verification Systems (RAVS) is a web-based application that provides the DCFS –CPH an on-line tool that validates the referral address while the caller is on the phone. If the entered referral address is incorrect, a list of alternative address options will be displayed, in which case, the DCFS-CPH staff will verify the address with the caller; once the correct address is identified, RAVS displays the map showing the location of the referral address and the name and address of the responsible DCFS Regional Office, Law Enforcement Agency and the Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) office.  DCFS-CPH staff cuts/paste the correct address to the Statewide Child Welfare Services/Case Management System (CWS/CMS).

RAVS has improved the productivity and efficiency of the DCFS-CPH staff in determining the appropriate office assignment and Law Enforcement cross reporting. It has increased the timely response rate of child abuse calls to 90% by improving the direction and coordination of resource allocation in emergency response situations.  The rate of accurate referral address in CWS/CMS has increase from 70% to 95%.

The improved accuracy of address location will help DCFS in the planning of resource and service allocation for the diverse demographics especially in the dispersed geographic areas of Los Angeles County.

Contact:  My Ngoc Trinh, Sr. GIS Analyst        

(213) 351-5554




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