A Case Management System (CMS) is vital for organisations which work with clients, in order to record their information and their work so far. It is particularly important for nonprofits in Singapore in order to provide good service, who must also report on their work to the National Council of Social Services on a regular basis.
Our case management software helps our partnered organisations be more effective and more efficient. It also helps them keep themselves accountable and report with greater transparency and accuracy.
CVWO has a long history of working with case management systems. The system we are working on now was first built in 2014, and rolled out to the Care Corner Counselling Centre in 2015. In the years since, further enhancements and features were rolled out. Upgrading of the tech stack took place, and additional new centres also started using our system. The team last year began the process of migrating the front-end of the system to React.
The Volunteer Welfare Organisations we are serving this year are Care Corner Centre of Co-parenting, Care Corner Counselling Centre and Lion Befrienders Service Association.
Care Corner Counselling Centre consists of two centres, Care Corner Counselling Centre (CCCC), and Care Corner Centre of Co-parenting (CCP). They are one of the largest Social Service Organisations in Singapore, and provide a range of counselling services to various communities across multiple touch points.
Lion Befrienders Service Association (LBSA) provides friendship and care for seniors to age-in-place. One of the services that LBSA offers is Cluster Support. They target clients with little family support, and aim to provide social support through monitoring, casework management and counselling services in order to facilitate better coordination in provisioning care and support services.
The Case Management System (CMS) team has two projects this year.
The first project is upgrading the existing CMS used by two of the counselling centres under Care Corner Singapore. This year, we finished the migration of the entire front-end of the case management system, which was begun last year. We fully migrated the Report and Admin modules, at the same time maintaining the system and worked on bug fixes and enhancements.
The second project is building a new CMS to support Lions Befrienders’ Cluster Support Service. Before this summer, Lions Befrienders Cluster Support manually kept track of the case records via Excel and Word, and pen and paper, which was inefficient and prone to human error. Cluster Support needed a more productive and accurate way to manage the cases. On top of that, they also needed a more convenient way to generate statistical reports for both their internal use and external auditing. Our CMS aims to streamline the delivery of service for the Cluster Support clients with an integrated digital system.
When our team took over this project in May 2021, we began our work by first studying the design of the project and understanding the considerations behind the design choices made by the previous teams. Through this process, we learnt essential software and valuable skills, frameworks and tools such as Ruby on Rails, SQL, and Git.
We started the development process with bug fixes and small enhancements of the existing CMS system used by Care Corner. This helped us to deepen our understanding of the codebase. Our team also took this time to meet our Lions Befrienders Cluster Support stakeholders in order to better understand their requirements and determine how we can build a CMS that is tailored to support their processes.
At the same time, our team worked on completing the frontend migration of the CMS for Care Corner. Last year’s team started migrating the frontend of the CMS to modern frameworks (such as React and Redux), in order to improve the performance, modernising the look and feel of the UI and enhancing the maintainability of the system. This year, we ported the remaining modules, including the admin settings and the report module, to React frontend, and now the system fully operates on the new frontend standalone.
Subsequently, we dedicated the majority of our development efforts to building the Case Management System for Cluster Support. We designed one integrated CMS system that would be beneficial for future maintainability and extensibility of the project. Combined with the fully migrated frontend of Care Corner CMS, the CMS frontend would now be a standalone application that communicates with the two different backends of Care Corner and LBSA and displays relevant functionality based on the backend. We also built additional features that are dedicated to Cluster Support’s workflow, such as Case Review and Case Client Progressive Details.
Testing and Deployment
One week prior to deployment, we scheduled a User Acceptance Test (UAT) with Cluster Support to obtain their sign-off on the upgraded version of the CMS. We provided bug fixes and enhancements after collecting feedback from the staff who attended the UAT. Finally, we deployed the upgraded CMS onto the live servers and monitored it for the remaining weeks of the summer to ensure that their day-to-day operations continued to run smoothly with the upgraded CMS.
- Zhang Yifan (Project Lead)
- Cedric Ong (Developer, Year 1)
- Shah Dhruv (Developer, Year 1)
- Eko Widianto (Developer, Alumnus)
- Hannah Chia (Developer, Year 1)
- Sun Jia Cheng (Developer, Year 1)
- Kevin Chua (Developer, Year 1)
- Ryan Chung (Developer, Year 1)
- Zhang Ziqing (Developer, Year 1)
Very grateful for this opportunity to serve our VWOs again in a new role with an excellent team!
CVWO has given me a chance to contribute to the running of a voluntary organisation, through my tech skills, and at the same time has taught be valuable lessons in software development that is almost impossible to get in a formal classroom setting. The skills picked up are a great springboard for one’s future tech career.
CVWO has been a very unique opportunity where we got the full experience of going from requirement gathering to delivery of a production system in a very short time frame. I have taken away many valuable lessons that have allowed me to grow as a software developer both in terms of technical and soft skills. Very thankful to have worked with and learned from a great team on this project.
CVWO has been a truly remarkable experience. Not only do I get to develop software engineering knowledge, but I also get to understand more about the workflow and pain points in the social service sector in Singapore. Really grateful for the opportunity and teaching provided by Prof. Ben and also the chance to work together and learn from the team.
CVWO tosses you into the deep end of software development, especially if you have limited experience - but on the bright side, you’ll learn how to swim. Dropping the metaphor, I’m glad I spent the summer building software that benefits the meaningful work these organisations do!
In CVWO you address real world, tangible functional requirements. Tight deadlines train one to be a disciplined software engineer, learning and applying new knowledge quickly. Above all, this is a holistic program, not only honing one’s technical skills but also one’s planning, collaborative and communication skills. The exposure and maturity I gained from this program cannot be understated.
– Jia Cheng
It is very nice to be able to meet such talented, friendly and motivated people and make good friends in the process. CVWO might be tough but it gets better when you have people to struggle with :)
CVWO is basically difficulty crank to max if you haven’t have any experience in web development. But with a great team lead and fun teammates, I learnt a lot and had fun!
CVWO has motivated me to explore tech for public good. It also equipped me with a growing mindset and resilience when I encounter difficulties. I truly appreciate this opportunity to work in such a technically strong team where everyone supports one another.
We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to the following people who have been influential and supportive during our project:
- Prof Ben Leong (NUS) for his patient guidance
- GIC for their generous support for the programme
- Our partners and clients for their co-operation and support for the programme:
- Care Corner Counselling Center
- Care Corner Centre for Co-Parenting
- Lions Befrienders Cluster Support