California, child welfare, community of practice, culture, information and communication technology (ICT), management


This article discusses the introduction of information and communication technology (ICT) in the California child welfare system. Drawing from anthropological literature, the authors emphasize the role of work practice and context associated with new ICT implementation. This case study uses a documentary- historical approach to analyze interviews with 386 workers who used the Child Welfare Services/Case Management System (CWS/CMS) between 1997 and 2005. Data show the implementation of CWS/CMS impacted the work practice of the welfare system. The authors recommend culture-centered computing for future developments and upgrades of ICT in child welfare.

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