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If Data Standards Follow Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, Are We Ready for Safety?

Published: April 26, 2016
Technical Assistance
Child Welfare, Child Welfare Information Systems

In the 1940s, renowned psychologist Abraham Maslow first published his work on human motivation. Maslow believed that human beings were motivated to fulfill certain needs. Further, he hypothesized that it was only when basic needs were met that individuals could move on to achieve higher-level goals. It is useful to think of data system needs according to a similar hierarchy—by meeting basic functioning requirements before systems can reasonably be expected to perform more advanced functions.

This webinar will examine the experience of Maryland’s child welfare agencies and the data standards challenges they face, from counting child protective services and in-home cases, to counting children in out-of-home care, and to assuring that their Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information System is meeting minimum data standards for Federal reporting (i.e., the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System, the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System, caseworker visitation, and the National Youth in Transition Database). But among all of Maryland's challenges, none have been more daunting than client identification and establishing basic interagency interfaces.

We will present stories of frustration from Maryland child welfare agencies about the problems related to these very basic data standards. While resolutions to these problems have been elusive for Maryland, the webinar will describe how—through the implementation of IT modernization efforts—the State hopes to address these vexing challenges.

The speakers for this webinar will be David Ayer, director, Research, Evaluation and Systems Development, Maryland Department of Health and Human Services, as well as members of his team.

Descriptive Audio Version