California Counties to Share Social Services Network

A consortium of California counties is investing $321 million in a network system that they hope will improve the state's delivery of social services.

Electronic Data Systems Corp. announced Tuesday that it will build the CalWORKS Information Network, or CalWIN, a system the company estimates will handle 40 percent of California's social services caseload.

CalWIN, which is already under development, is intended to streamline the delivery of services through the 18 counties it encompasses. The system will affect more than a million people who are on Medicaid, receive food stamps or get assistance from California's welfare-to-work program.

By replacing a 30-year-old system, CalWIN is supposed to ensure that benefits are properly distributed. It will also make it faster for county workers to determine whether people are eligible for benefits, and if so, how much. A case management component will enable counties to measure the effectiveness of various service programs.

CalWIN will feature an open, component-based architecture. A cross-platform client/server will involve personal computers, printers, servers, local-area networks, wide-area networks, an intranet and the Internet.

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