Frequently Asked Questions

What is Integrated Case Management?

Integrated Case Management is a long-overdue technical upgrade to support the efficient delivery of services vital to thousands of British Columbians, including:

  • The BC Employment and Assistance Program
  • The Employment Program of British Columbia
  • The Child Care Subsidy Program
  • Child and Family Services

It is providing a modern technology platform and tools for workers in the Ministries of Social Development and Social Innovation (SDSI) and Children and Family Development (MCFD). The $182-million ICM system is being implemented over six years, and is moving towards completion by the end of 2014.

Who is using the Integrated Case Management system?

The ministries of Social Development and Social Innovation, Children and Family Development, and Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services are working together on the new Integrated Case Management (ICM) system. The two ministries that are using ICM – Children and Family Development and Social Development and Social Innovation – together spend more than $3.8 billion a year on key social programs.

Why is Integrated Case Management important?

When fully implemented, Integrated Case Management is expected to improve the way the ministries of Social Development and Social Innovation and Children and Family Development manage information and deliver services to more than 200,000 British Columbians.

The goal of ICM is to help improve the way cases are managed and information is shared across the social sector ministries. It will introduce better tools for front-line workers and service delivery partners. Overall, ICM will improve outcomes for the people government serves through coordinated planning, consistent service standards, appropriate information sharing and service delivery options.

Why do we need a new system?

In order to meet the needs of B.C. families – who often receive services from multiple programs and services across multiple ministries – we need modern computer systems that can respond to changes in legislation and practice.

There have been repeated calls by independent authorities (including The Hughes Report in 2006) for government to implement a system of appropriate information sharing to protect vulnerable citizens.

We need a system that supports front-line workers and other staff to work together to understand the full range of a family’s needs so they can respond accordingly.

In fact, ICM’s goal is to implement a modern technology platform and provide better tools for workers to manage information and provides services to citizens accessing social services.

For British Columbians who receive services through the ministries, the switch to ICM means that their documents and information will be better managed, so less time is spent on administration and more time is spent on getting the supports they need. People will no longer be asked for personal information multiple times, and services will be based on up-to-date, comprehensive information.

What’s the status of ICM implementation?

Phase 1 of ICM launched in November 2010. ICM has been used by the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation for more than three years and is working well.

The Ministry of Children and Family Development came online with Phase 2 in April 2012.

On March 4, 2013, ICM Phase 3 rolled out. Phase 3 focused on transactional functionality and the limited implementation of the ICM Service Provider Portal. Phase 3 had a limited impact on front-line staff.

In the Ministry of Children and Family Development, Phase 3 impacted transactional areas including Child Care Subsidy, autism funding and medical benefits programs. Phase 3 did not affect the area of child protection.

In the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation, ICM Phase 3 included the transition of the Bus Pass Program and Senior’s Supplement into ICM, as well as enhanced functionality for Family Maintenance staff. Phase 3 also included the implementation of the ICM Service Provider Partner Portal. Service providers are key partners in the delivery of service to British Columbia’s children, youth, adults and families.

The ICM Service Provider Portal provides limited, secure access for a small number of approved service providers from both ministries to create and submit invoices electronically and view the status of upcoming payments. The portal is being implemented in phases. The final phase is well underway and is scheduled for completion by the end of 2014.

The final phase includes enhancements to existing case management functions and upgrades to make it easier for staff to enter and find key information.

Why is the Service Provider Portal being phased in?

Service providers are key partners in the delivery of service to British Columbia’s children, youth, adults and families. This portal will help streamline interactions between service provider partners and ministry staff, resulting in less time being spent on administrative tasks and more time available for client service.

Phasing in the portal, with only a very small number of selected service providers coming on board initially, will ensure that all aspects of the ICM Service Provider Portal are working effectively before expanding to include additional approved service providers.

Is the Service Provider Portal secure?

The ICM Service Provider Portal will enable ministry staff and service providers to appropriately share information in a safe and secure manner.

Access to information through the ICM Service Provider Portal is role-based, meaning approved service providers will have access to only the information necessary to serve the purpose of carrying out their tasks and delivering services. The ICM Service Provider Portal does not provide wide-open access to all information in ICM.

Government takes protecting the privacy of the individuals and families it serves very seriously. The service provider portal will meet all requirements under B.C. privacy legislation.

How can you ensure that personal information is protected under the system?

To be successful, ICM must comply with privacy policies and provide an increased level of protection for personal information.

ICM will capture information from outside agencies, such as non-profit organizations. Service providers sign contracts that outline information-sharing, privacy and security in accordance with provincial and federal legislation.

Staff and service providers only have access to information that is necessary for a specific purpose to allow them to do their jobs and deliver services. They will not have wide-open access to all information in ICM. As well, there is an internal audit system that records access and can issue an alert if there’s an attempt at unauthorized access to restricted records.

Maintaining the highest standards and protection of people’s privacy has been paramount from the very beginning of developing this new system. That is why the ICM project team conducts regular reviews with the B.C. government’s central privacy office and Privacy Commissioner’s staff to ensure that privacy and security objectives are incorporated into the design and implementation of the solution

Privacy impact assessments were completed in advance of Phase 1, Phase 2 and Phase 3 deployment and were reviewed by the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner. These are available on the Privacy page.

Ongoing consultation with the Office of the Chief Information Officer and the Information and Privacy Commissioner will continue throughout this project to ensure that people's personal information is kept confidential and secure.

How much information do individuals need to disclose under the ICM system?

People who receive government services will continue to provide information related to the specific services they are being provided in accordance with the associated legislation and policy.

ICM enables information to be shared subject to consistent privacy rules, more securely and efficiently and minimizing the use of fax, phone or hardcopy to gather information.

This is extremely important when it comes to sharing crucial information between authorized parties – so British Columbians who need government services and assistance are getting what they need when they need it.

Find out more about personal information and ICM in this brochure PDF Document .

What is the reliability rate of the ICM system?

Since the launch of Phase 2 in April 2012, the ICM system has been available and functioning for the benefit of British Columbians nearly 100 per cent of the time.

What is government doing to ensure that social workers have the support they need to continue to protect children and youth?

Nothing is more important than protecting the safety and well-being of children and youth.

We have identified areas where we can be doing a better job at ensuring that front-line workers have the resources and supports necessary to do their important work.

That’s why government is improving and increasing training and working with the system’s designers to develop solutions when problems are identified.

We have put extraordinary monitoring measures in place to ensure that no child is at risk, including close supervision to ensure that all child protection information is being entered accurately into the system. MCFD has also increased monitoring of new child protection files in every region of the province.

Enhanced on-site training has been provided to child protection managers and team leaders in every region, and to more than 2,000 front-line child protection workers across BC. As well, 75 staff members were trained as dedicated ICM trainers.

What is government doing to support Employment Program of BC contractors who are using ICM?

Contractors delivering the Employment Program of BC across the province are using ICM to capture client and financial data. In response to contractor feedback, and to provide them with the support they need, government made changes to the ICM system. These adjustments focused on priority areas to ensure contractors are well supported in delivering services to clients.

Government has also made a number of important changes to the Employment Program of BC financial model to help support contractors in entering their data into ICM. The changes provided time for the ministry to introduce upcoming ICM enhancements, and then analyze the impacts of the enhancements on the financial changes to ensure they reflect the work required. Additional financial supports have been extended to contractors during this time to help them sustain service delivery while adjusting to the new ICM system.

As a result of the first Corporate Program Advisory Committee meeting in August 2012, working groups comprised of ministry staff and contractor representatives have been set up to work on various issues to improve efficiency. Government is committed to keeping the lines of communication open and working with contractors to address any issues – with ICM and with the program itself – as they arise.

What was the process for selecting the software package you are using?

The underlying software product is from Oracle/Siebel and is used worldwide in both the public and private sectors. Oracle/Siebel case management software was selected through a Request for Proposals (RFP) process in March 2008.

Proposals were evaluated based on the evaluation criteria set out in the RFP, including:

  • Demonstrated experience in implementing similar projects in the social services sector
  • Corporate capacity and long-term financial stability
  • Product and service demonstrations
  • Value for money.

The evaluation team included representatives from the Ministries of Social Development and Social Innovation, Children and Family Development, Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services, the government’s Strategic Acquisitions and Technology Procurement group, as well as technical and business subject-matter experts.

The RFP followed a notice to vendors and information sessions with potential vendors to enhance the ministries’ knowledge of available software applications.

Did you involve front-line staff in the development of ICM?

Several hundred front-line staff and subject-matter experts from across both ministries have been involved in the development of ICM from the beginning.

The ministries' staff continue to work diligently to address issues as they arise and make adjustments as needed to best support staff, as well as the individuals and families we serve.