Transforming digital government for the state of California

California CWDS


Child Welfare Digital Services (CWDS) is a collaboration of California State and local government agencies that support our shared stakeholders through technology to assure the safety, permanency, and well-being of children at risk of abuse, neglect, or exploitation.


A lack of design thinking, workflow design, and scalable technology has prevented Child Welfare Digital Services (CWDS) from effectively supporting its mandate. Navigating the CWDS system is further complicated by the lack of meaningful user experience design, making it difficult to find and access mission-critical information.

Facilitating inter-agency design thinking workshops


Agency 39A established an embedded presence in a public-private partnership that champions design thinking, design research, product design, user experience, and human-centered design.

We started by determining the needs of agencies and field agents through research. We developed potential concept solutions through design sprint collaboration workshops and tested those concepts early and often with agency personnel and field agents.

Co-designed workflows laid the foundation for detailed service blueprints

We defined a strategic roadmap for feature development and technical implementation and redesigned the workflows, systems, and interfaces that manage Intake, Case Management, Courts, Certification Approval and Licensing Services (CALS), Resource Management, Eligibility, Financial Management, Data, and Reporting Management, and CARES Administration.

Detailed user journeys guide user experience design and technical implementation plans


Our work brought clarity, definition, and design to inter-agency collaboration, improving how information is shared. Strategic planning brought order and predictability to new feature development, technical implementation, and agency participation, reducing the burden on state officials and amplifying the impact of their contributions.

Exhaustive design research ensured inclusive and equitable access to information as we designed a more effective system to assure the safety, permanency, and well-being of children at risk of abuse, neglect or exploitation.

The result: improved user experiences that support the needs of state and local agencies

Project Capabilities

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