Department of Social Services, Columbia County, New York

The Social Services Department of Columbia County realized it needed more space to house its files, and better security to protect them.

The Social Services Department of Columbia County realized it needed more space to house its large amount of documents and better security to protect them.

In Columbia County, the Department of Social Services works on behalf of the over 63,000 people who call Columbia County home. Its responsibility includes tracking and documenting child welfare, family support and child support cases as well as prosecuting offenses.

The Problem

For the Department of Social Services, the confidentiality of files and the validity of photographic evidence are crucial in handling their cases. The manila folder and physical filing system they used had become inefficient, lacked security and left the validity of some photos open for questioning. Getting access to photographic evidence and case documents was also time-consuming. It meant going to the appropriate office, finding the right case worker, searching for the correct file, borrowing the documents and then storing the file again. Only one person could work with a file at a time.
Additionally, the filing cabinets were accessible to practically anyone in the department which meant a high potential for compromised photos or investigative reports.”

The Solution

DSS Attorney Christopher Muller says that the opportunity to implement FileBound “fell into our lap when the county clerk’s office contacted us to take on a pilot program with the software they were using.” Explains Muller, “FileBound has an ease of implementation and training we haven’t seen in other systems. The software is easy for my staff to use and the schedule for updates is certainly manageable. The support is awesome and the training was ridiculously easy.” The Department of Social Services scans documents into FileBound on daily basis and uses it for searching and retrieving foster care and child care cases. Photographic evidence goes straight from the camera into FileBound, eliminating the risk of compromise or loss.

FileBound Results

Christopher Muller adds, “We needed a place to securely store all of the photographic evidence we gather as part of our investigations. The evidence is used in court and FileBound allows us to testify to the photo’s validity while maintaining the confidentiality of the witnesses.” With FileBound, photos are no longer lying around on a desk; they’re easily searched, can be accessed by multiple attorneys, properly authenticated for court and the system meets state confidentiality requirements. Access is 24/7, saving time and frustration for the attorneys and case workers. “The best way to put it is FileBound gives us a professional way of doing business,” says Muller. “Yes, we satisfy the confidence requirements and save time in calling up photos, but FileBound give us the ability to be organized. We’re efficient and streamlined—it gives us the professionalism we were looking for in how we want to do business.””

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