Employees of the Division of Children and Family Services (DCFS) are required to travel in order to complete required home visits, visit children in foster homes, and facilitate visitation between children and parents or other family members. Employees typically use their own personal vehicles for travel and, per applicable Cuyahoga County and DCFS travel policies, may be reimbursed for miles driven, any applicable parking or toll charges, meals for themselves or children in custody, and for out-of-state travel like flights, hotels, and rental cars. Employees are typically reimbursed for travel expenses on a monthly basis.
DCFS lacks a useful tool to support staff, who must rely on manual tracking and data entry of their daily travel activities. Employees then spend the first three days each month manually completing a travel expense report that lists all locations traveled to the prior month and the associated mileage. Employees may also include receipts for other permitted expenses. A review of the process has found that the requirements for documenting and submitting travel expense reports are not clearly understood and it is difficult to verify the accuracy of reports.
DCFS is seeking a tech-based solution that will automate the tracking and reporting functions of the travel reimbursement process, freeing up staff time that could otherwise be spent protecting children.
Key requirements of such a solution include:
- Application Logic: User-friendly, driven by information input by the user depending on case information; address field with ability to provide directions and track the mileage and record the route utilized
- Must utilize existing technology of smart phones or iPads
- Ability to differentiate between standard and special travel
- Ability to manually enter trips when needed with an optional narrative field
- Ability to upload photographs of receipts to an expense field which can be added to the travel
- Ability for data to be automatically transferred to a database TBD which will generate a detailed travel and expense report for supervisor review and submission for reimbursement
- Save and Return Later:
- Ability for user to save inputted information and attached documentation, and come back later to resume submission
- Ability for information to be saved for repeated input to same location