GPS Overview

DFPS developed and launched the General Placement Search (GPS) application in 2021 to speed up the process of finding the best possible placements and the right services for children and youth in state care. GPS does this by collecting real-time data about placement preferences and vacancies from CPS contracted providers. See more about placement practices and GPS benefits in the Background section below.

As a contracted CPS provider, what does this mean for me?

Your contract with the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) currently requires you to update your vacancies into the Child Placement Vacancy application daily. GPS will replace this process and that contract requirement will be changed by a contract amendment.

The accuracy of the placement data available to CPS will depend on providers entering timely and accurate information through the GPS application.

GPS collects more fields of data than CPV.  This may require an enhancement to your data collection process. Contracted CPS providers will collect specific placement preference and vacancy information and enter it into the GPS application. The first time you enter data into GPS for a placement record, you must complete all required fields.  After you provide the complete initial record, you will need to update vacancy information or changes based on placement activity daily. This allows CPS placement staff to seen vacancy and placement information in real time.

Note: This is separate from the Single Source Continuum Contractor’s (SSCC) Gateway API process. The GPS system only accepts data from providers that have a contract with DFPS. Some providers will need to send data to both the DFPS and SSCC interfaces.

What do I need to do?

All CPS contracted providers will be required to enter vacancy and preference information for their placements into GPS.  There are two methods for providing the information: Manual Data Entry or Electronic Data Transfer.

Step 1: Evaluate and/or modify your data collection process to collect the new information required by CPS. For a complete list of data fields see the GPS Data Fields document.

Step 2: Decide how you will enter your information into GPS.

  • Manual entry – Providers enter the placement details into GPS by manually logging in with their Public Provider Portal credentials, accessing the provider records, and entering the placement details. To learn more about this method see the GPS Data Entry Training Manual.
  • GPS Electronic Data Transfer (EDT) Process – Send placement data from your Case Management System (CMS) to the GPS system via a new electronic data transfer (EDT) process. To learn more about this method see the GPS Electronic Data Transfer Guide.

Step 3: Read the corresponding training/instruction document. For manual data entry, see the GPS Data Entry Training Manual.  For electronic data transfer, see the GPS Electronic Data Transfer Guide.

Step 4: Begin using GPS after 8/12/2021.

How do I learn more about the electronic data transfer (EDT) process?

  1. Read the GPS Electronic Data Transfer Guide to learn how you and your vendor can participate. The manual has step-by-step instructions for provider onboarding and data quality.
  2. Discuss EDT participation with your case management system (CMS) vendor and/or your Information Technology Department.
  3. Coordinate with your CMS vendor on their participation with GPS and the timing of their CMS-GPS project implementation and testing schedule.
  4. When all testing is successfully completed, you can send provider information to the GPS production environment.

What if I have questions or need help?

If you need more information or help with GPS, email the GPS team at:

Check out the links below to useful information and resources:

Background Information

What factors influence CPS’s child placement practices?

Many factors influence the decision on where children and youth are placed when Child Protective Services (CPS) becomes their temporary or permanent managing conservator. These factors include:

  • The safety of the child/youth.
  • The strengths and needs of the child/youth.
  • Cultural backgrounds.
  • Child and family’s preferences and needs.
  • The child/youth’s permanency goal.
  • Educational stability.
  • Keep siblings together.
  • Keeping children/youth connected to their community.
What Is the purpose of GPS?

GPS will allow CPS staff to:

  • More easily find placements by searching vacancy information in real-time.
  • Match child characteristics to specific placements with specific services.
  • Provide information on the demographics of the placement to include data related to other children living in a particular placement and their history of incidents and/or behaviors.
  • Locate potential placements, schools, current placement and sibling placements. 
  • View compliance and enforcement information in one application instead of several, including IMPACT, CLASS, and others.
  • Report on placement and caregiver capacity by placement type, provider, and services offered.
  • Track placement search activities.
What are the expected benefits and outcomes?
  • Streamlines sharing information on placement needs with providers.
  • Reduces the number of systems used to find the least restrictive and most appropriate placements in or near the child’s home community.
  • Speeds up finding placements for children.
  • Reduces data entry for placement coordinators by pre-populating frequently used search criteria from the child/youth’s common application.
When did GPS launch?

GPS launched on the evening of 8/12/2021. The rollout timeline was as follows:

GPS Goes Live

August 12, 2021:

  • All provider information from IMPACT and CLASS will be loaded into GPS.
  • CPV will no longer be used.
  • GPS manual data entry by providers of placement preference and vacancy information begins.
    • Providers are encouraged to begin manual data entry as soon as possible as it will reduce the volume of correspondence from the CPS Placement Unit about preferences and vacancies.
    • Even if providers ultimately choose the electronic data transfer (EDT) method, DFPS encourages them to enter data manually until their EDT process is ready.
  • Electronic data transfer is available to those providers who are ready participate.

GPS Manual Data Entry Deadline

September 17, 2021:

All providers registered to use the manual data entry method will be expected to begin updating their preferences and vacancies in GPS.

GPS Electronic Data Transfer Deadline

December 31, 2021:

All providers registered to use electronic data transfer will be expected to have their data in GPS.  If your EDT process is not ready by the deadline, then you will need to use manual data entry until your process is ready.