Developed SchoolMinder application utilizing ArcGIS server
The Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) utilized an ArcView 3.x application called SchoolMinder to place children in foster homes. This application was a single user, desktop application, and was built on technology that had become outdated.
DCFS desired the system to be redesigned to utilize current, industry-standard technology. The functionality of the re-developed system would remain the same: to place children in foster homes while attempting the keep them in the same school in order to minimize disruptions. Additionally, the new system would allow multiple users, from various locations throughout Illinois, to use the application at the same time over the web.
Great Arc proposed to rebuild SchoolMinder using ArcGIS Server. By utilizing an ArcGIS Server solution, the new web-based application would allow multiple users to access the system simultaneously. Additionally, it would be built using modern development architecture, namely ASP.Net with VB.Net and the .Net Web ADF for ArcGIS Server.
Users access the secure system through a web browser. Once in the application, they set various demographic parameters about the intake: language, number of siblings, and age ranges. They then choose what part of the state, as well as what type of school to search for (In or Out of Chicago and Elementary, Middle, or High School). With this information, the potential number of homes returned is narrowed to a workable dataset.
After that information has been filled in, the user chooses what type of search they would like to perform – Address, Place Name, or School Name. The Address search geocodes the location against a statewide street database. The Place Name search allows the user to type in a location, such as a hospital, and the School Name search is used if the child’s school is known.
Once the initial query is run, the user selects the location from the result that matches what they were looking for. This location – Address, Place, or School – is then used, along with a search radius, to find suitable homes for the child (or children) to be placed in. The homes report is grouped and sorted by the distance from the school location and is ready for moving into the mainframe so that calls can be made to the various agencies that are part of the Foster Care program.
Select users are also granted access to a map. The map shows the location of the intake and the homes that meet the criteria presented in the search. The map users are able to identify these locations and view more detailed information. Standard, user-friendly map navigation tools are provided for map navigation.