Participants in the Information Sharing Certificate Program will study and utilize the practices and policies identified through CJJR, JLC and the faculty's ongoing investigation and research.
The curriculum for this program will be based heavily on the Models for Change Information Sharing Tool Kit and the work of the National Juvenile Information Sharing Initiative. The instruction will be interactive and will use various tools to increase participants' ability to solve real-life problems when they return home. The following modules will be included in the program:
Laying the Foundation for an Information Sharing Project
The foundation for information sharing, whether it is for the purposes of individual case management or to support planning efforts and improved practice, consists of 1) organization and governance, 2) goals, 3) law and policy, 4) technology, and 5) training. From this foundation, leaders can organize and coordinate information sharing activities throughout a particular jurisdiction. This module will provide a detailed understanding of these foundational elements, including a set of core principles or values on which the foundation is built.
Overview of Federal Confidentiality Laws
This module will provide an overview of federal laws such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), Federal Drug and Alcohol Regulations, and more. The purpose of this module will be to familiarize participants with what these laws permit and restrict, as well as present strategies for working within the guidelines set forth by these laws. The module focuses on those legal provisions that are most pertinent to the recorded information regarding youth involved in the juvenile justice and child welfare systems.
Conducting Legal Research and Analysis of State Confidentiality Laws
The legal and policy framework in any community or jurisdiction can provide support -- as well as create barriers --for systems integration efforts. On the one hand, a statute may articulate legislative support for systems integration. On the other hand, laws may restrict the sharing of information essential to case coordination, or policies may fail to clearly articulate confidentiality or information sharing guidelines. The purpose of this module is to provide guidance in conducting legal and policy analysis to identify both barriers and supports that may impact a community's ability to undertake information sharing endeavors. The module will offer a structure within which legal information pertinent to multi-system youth can be gathered and analyzed, utilizing A Guide to Legal and Policy Analysis in Systems Integration (Jessica Heldman, CWLA Press, 2005) as an instructional tool.
The following three modules will focus on each of the three categories of information sharing presented in the Models for Change Information Sharing Tool Kit:
Category 1: Information Sharing for Individual Case Planning and Decision-Making
Information sharing can benefit a youth involved in multiple systems of care by allowing professionals to develop more comprehensive plans and reduce duplication of effort. However, given that information sharing for these purposes requires the use of personally identifiable information, professionals must approach information sharing carefully in order to protect the privacy and other rights of the child and family under federal and state law. Several topics will be discussed during this session, including determining the current and desired flow of information among systems, creating a Memorandum of Understanding to permit information sharing, putting into place protections that will minimize inappropriate and illegal information sharing, and developing supporting tools to facilitate day-to-day information sharing between systems.
Category 2: Data Collection and Sharing for Law, Policy and Program Development
Data sharing among agencies for the purposes of aggregating data and analyzing it can provide a clear picture of the clients being served and their current system experiences. This module will provide instruction on how jurisdictions can collectively determine the questions they need their data to answer about the populations they serve, perform an inventory of existing data, and develop protocols and tools (such as consents and access rights) for ensuring that the data is both used properly and protected against improper re-disclosure.
Category 3: Data Collection and Sharing for Program Evaluation and Performance Measurement
Data sharing across systems can also aid in measuring the performance and effectiveness of programs and practices. This module will focus on how to bring people together to develop a performance measurement plan or a program evaluation, create a data driven culture, and protect sensitive data from misuse. This will include discussions of data collection systems, use of University and other resources in the conduct of program evaluations, selecting outcomes, reporting results, protection of human subjects, and the development of corresponding tools.
Technology Breakout Sessions
In addition to the six modules already described, breakout sessions will be provided for individuals working on the technological aspects of information sharing in their jurisdiction. These breakout sessions will be focused on analyzing where information about children is housed throughout the community and in what format, so that technological solutions can be crafted to efficiently and securely share this electronic data. For instance, the technology breakouts will discuss the completion of a technical assessment/inventory, identification and development of data repositories and exchanges, the development of information exchange priorities, and procedures and policies for the privacy and security of information.
A panelist of experts who have successfully implemented information sharing reforms in their communities will be featured. These exceptional leaders will discuss their experiences undertaking information sharing efforts, and will respond to questions and concerns that participants have concerning their ability to overcome challenges in their own jurisdiction.
Leadership and Messaging for Culture Change
While it is important to understand the legal and process related aspects of juvenile information sharing, it is essential that this knowledge be paired with strong leadership and messaging to effectively advance and embed the reforms in the way systems interact. Therefore, this module will discuss leadership and messaging strategies that can be used to change the culture of systems and sustain the efforts.
While not a distinct module, throughout the course of the program, participants will develop a work plan for the information sharing efforts they will undertake as part of their Capstone Project. Participants will be guided to identify the agencies that need to be involved, identify key decision points that require information sharing, determine what laws and policies govern the sharing of information, develop protections for the information to be shared, develop protocols for an interagency information sharing agreement, and more.
Faculty for the program will be comprised of information sharing, juvenile justice and child welfare subject matter experts from across the country, including:
- Shay Bilchik, Director/Research Professor, Center for Juvenile Justice Reform, Georgetown University
- Stephanie Rondenell, Executive Director, Center for Network Development; and Project Director, National Juvenile Information Sharing Initiative
- Lourdes Rosado, Associate Director, Juvenile Law Center
- Riya Shah, Staff Attorney, Juvenile Law Center
- John Tuell, Co-Director, MacArthur Foundation Models for Change Initiative at the Robert F. Kennedy Children's Action Corps; Faculty, Georgetown University Center for Juvenile Justice Reform; President, Tuell & Associates Consultation, LLC
- Janet Wiig, Co-Director, MacArthur Foundation Models for Change Initiative at the Robert F. Kennedy Children's Action Corps; Faculty, Georgetown University Center for Juvenile Justice Reform; Independent Consultant