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Project Summary: State of Tennessee


The Department of Children Services (DCS) provides invaluable services to many children within the State of Tennessee. One of these services involves providing foster parents. To be a foster parent, prospective individuals and their immediate family members must under go a 30-hour training pre-service program entitled PATH (Parents As Tender Healers). Previously, DCS tracked the people who attended these training sessions by using spreadsheets, and by depending on the session trainers to keep track of the spreadsheets and to send those spreadsheets to the proper state department so that they could be billed for the training. This process was very tedious and prone to problems relating to delays in billing and, often times, even failure to bill. As a result of these problems, the Tennessee Department of Children Services was under order to streamline and update their tracking and billing system for the training that they offer for prospective foster parents. The result of that order was the development of the DCS Training, Tracking, and Rostering application.

What did we do?

One of SDI’s senior architects and developers worked with the development staff internal to the Department of Children Services. He worked on the following items:

  1. Requirements
  2. Obtaining and defining the requirements and business rules regarding how the application should run.

  3. Database Design
  4. One full week was spent designing the database for this application. Spending time on designing the database allowed the group to further flesh out the business rules and obtain additional information regarding flexibility of the system and information that should be reported. By spending a full week on database design, we were able to perform additional analysis on the business rules and how the process should work.

  5. Training and Basic Application Design
  6. SDI spent several months working with the internal DCS developers to teach them how to design and develop a secure web based application. We began by teaching the internal developers how to query, insert, update, and delete records in one table. From there, we taught the developers how to implement more complicated business rules.

  7. Writing and Developing an Application
  8. SDI spent several months designing and implementing complicated business rules to handle tracking and billing of the application.

  9. Security
  10. We designed and implemented the security component of the application so that users could only access areas of the application in which they held the appropriate security level.

About the Application

The DCS Training, Tracking, and Rostering application uses a web based interface to display built on Microsoft IIS and Active Server Pages. The application was designed so that business rules could be easily updated. The data is stored in a Microsoft Sql Server database.