LEADER Replacement System Deployment Begins

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The Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services (DPSS), in collaboration with the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), began deployment of a new case management and benefits eligibility system known as the LEADER Replacement System (LRS) on Tuesday, February 23, 2016. DPSS previously piloted LRS in two public assistance district offices, one in West Los Angeles and one in South Los Angeles. Full countywide implementation is planned in five waves through late 2016.

The largest system of its kind in the nation, LRS provides a modern, web-based tool for public assistance case workers in Los Angeles County to help improve service delivery and enhance customer experience. LRS expands and accelerates service delivery using e-Government functionality, including self-screening, online enrollment, case information access and electronic customer communications.

“LRS will serve as a national model for excellence in automation and technology advancement in the human services industry,” says DPSS Director Sheryl L. Spiller. “This web-based system uses web browsers and mobile platforms to support and respond to ever-changing public assistance programs and evolving business needs of both DPSS and the Department of Children and Family Services.”

LRS was also designed and developed in collaboration with the Statewide Automated Welfare System (SAWS) Consortium-IV (C-IV), one of three statewide welfare systems in California representing 39 counties, to eventually consolidate Los Angeles County and the SAWS C-IV into a single system serving 40 of California’s 58 counties.

“For the first time in our history, we have a leading edge system that will operate at full capacity 24 hours a day and provide continual case updates around the clock,” says Michael Sylvester, DPSS Assistant Director, Bureau of Contract and Technical Services.

When fully rolled out, LRS will replace and consolidate seventeen (17) antiquated and disparate legacy systems of Los Angeles County, the largest of which is the LEADER (Los Angeles Eligibility, Automated Determination, Evaluation, and Reporting) system, designed in the 1990s and in operation for the past 15 years. Strategic visioning for LRS began back in 2007, followed by a robust competitive procurement and selection process, culminating in approval by the Board of Supervisors in November 2012 to commence LRS. 

Most recently, in addition to successfully completing a four-month pilot, the LRS Project successfully deployed the new system to the first wave of sites in late February 2016, followed by a second wave in late April 2016. By the fifth and final wave scheduled for September 2016, the LRS will support over 17,000 users (county employees and external service providers) as well as extend online services to consumers of public assistance programs. 

With nearly 14,000 employees, Los Angeles County’s DPSS is the second largest local social services agency in the nation. The department currently provides benefits and services to over 3.5 million individuals, including nutrition assistance in the form of CalFresh benefits, employment services and supportive services via welfare-to-work programs, financial and homeless assistance for families through the CalWORKs program, In-Home Supportive Services for the disabled and elderly population, Medi-Cal and access to other healthcare plans offered under the Affordable Care Act, and financial and homeless assistance for qualifying individuals through the General Relief program.

The LRS Project remains on target, on time and on budget, and continues to secure State and Federal support in terms of go-live criteria and sufficient funding for the 4-year design, development and implementation phase of the LRS project.