By Joseph Doherty, executive vice president and chief operating officer, ACS Government Solutions.

Ruth Johnson with Dugan Petty, State of Oregon CIO and incoming President of NASCIO

From helping people with shelter and refuge from natural disasters, to offering child care assistance programs for working, low-income families, state human services agencies can make a profound impact on many lives. That’s why organizations like the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) are not only staying one step ahead of citizens services programs – they are seeing impressive success as well.

Led by Secretary Ruth Johnson, the Louisiana DCFS has rejuvenated programs and improved workflow efficiencies to put a stronger focus on citizens. With help from the human services solutions offered by ACS, A Xerox Company, DCFS is simplifying the benefits application process by allowing citizens to enroll in programs in person, by mail or through calling a customer service center.  The improved application process and centralized customer support system allows DCFS to focus on what’s most important – providing quality programs for citizens.

With the help of ACS, DCFS has implemented a standardized payment system for state-subsidized childcare. By improving security on the caregiver validation process through biometrics, they have been able to save $1.5 million each month. The paperless, web-based alternative eliminates a series of tedious processes and greatly increases payment accuracy for child care providers, reducing fraud and increasing program investment overall.

As a result of her forward-thinking approach to modernizing Louisiana’s technology policy agenda and in turn improving the state’s human services programs, Ruth has been recognized with the 2011 State Technology Innovator Award at the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) Annual Conference in Denver, Colo. ACS would like to congratulate Ruth and everyone at DCFS for their dedication to citizen program improvement.

Congratulations, Ruth!