Computer systems in human services are often abandoned after significant investments have already been made. A case study of preventing the utilization of a wrong computer system for a child development center illustrates how managed system conceptualization minimized damage. Critical consciousness and adherence to specific computer implementation technology created an environment which supported recurrent system efficacy evaluation. When the system, as initially conceptualized, could not meet practitioners' needs, early project abandonment was achieved. Some considerations for successful system development in human service are presented.

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