• February 2009
  • Vol. 10, No. 1

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Sharing Data Between the Court and Child Welfare Systems

Progress toward developing effective data sharing between the courts and child welfare agencies and the benefits of data sharing are explored in a new report released by the New York State Unified Court System, Division of Court Operations. In the report, Building Bridges: The Case for Data Sharing Between the Court and Child Welfare Systems, authors Paul Drezelo and Amelia Lepore discuss the need for interagency collaboration in the development of information systems that can communicate directly with one another. Potential benefits of data sharing include:

  • Systems interoperability (direct electronic communication between agency systems) that supports enhanced efficiency, faster service delivery, improved communication, standardized practice, and improved data validity
  • Increased capacity for evidence-based evaluation and enhanced decision-making
  • Reinforced partnerships between the courts and child welfare agencies

The report provides examples of specific projects in New York that illustrate these benefits, as well as some of the challenges that agencies and courts have addressed. A New York Court Improvement Project is described that will compile and disseminate county-by-county data indicators to provide benchmarks for child safety, timeliness of permanency, child well-being, and due process.

Building Bridges: The Case for Data Sharing Between the Court and Child Welfare Systems is available online:

www.courts.state.ny.us/ip/cwcip/Publications/BuildingBridges-TheCaseForDataShare.pdf (602 KB)

Related Item

The U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention funded the Strengthening Abuse and Neglect Courts Act (SANCA) pilot projects to demonstrate the benefits of enhancing State court systems' capacity to implement automated data collection and case-tracking systems and to use such systems to evaluate court performance. To read about the SANCA projects, go to:

www.ncsconline.org/WC/Publications/KIS_FamJusSANCAProject.pdf

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