- November 2014
- Vol. 15, No. 10
National Pilot to Support Interstate Placements of Children
By Anita Light, Sr. Deputy Executive Director, American Public Human Services Association
Children needing placements across State borders may see shorter wait times and States may realize cost reductions if a new pilot Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) project is successful. The American Public Human Services Association (APHSA) and its affiliate, the Association of Administrators of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (AAICPC), in partnership with the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF), Children's Bureau (CB), are currently implementing the National Electronic Interstate Compact Enterprise (NEICE) pilot through a cooperative agreement. NEICE aims to improve efficiency in the administration of the ICPC. It is anticipated that implementation of NEICE will result in significantly shorter case processing times, meaning children will be placed safely and securely across State borders more quickly. In addition, participating States will accrue cost savings through reductions in copying, mailing, and staff time.
Based on an electronic system developed by the State of Florida and modified through this project by the technical vendor, Tetrus Corporation, NEICE was implemented in August 2014. The six selected pilot States include Florida, Indiana, Nevada, South Carolina, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia. NEICE allows the electronic processing and transmittal of all case information and documents required for an interstate placement. Tetrus is using national standards, the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM), that will ultimately allow information to be exchanged among all the State systems without the need for specific interfaces between each system. An Information Exchange Package Document (IEPD) has been created for the use of information technology professionals in the States. The IEPD translates data from child welfare data systems into a standardized format. This allows for the transfer of ICPC data and documents between States. The pilot is being evaluated by WRMA, and an advisory committee has been appointed to provide feedback on sustainability and to serve as ambassadors for full implementation of NEICE.
Although the pilot is still early in the implementation stage, initial numbers are promising. During the first 8 weeks of the pilot, 585 cases involving 716 children were created, and 81 cases were approved within that timeframe. The pilot is set to continue through April 2015, and APHSA and AAICPC are exploring options for taking the system nationwide. For more information, please see http://www.aphsa.org/content/AAICPC/en/actions/NEICE.html.