Human Services Interoperability Innovations (HSII), 2020-2021

The ACF Human Services Interoperability Innovations (HSII) demonstration program is intended to expand data sharing efforts by state, local, and tribal governments to improve human services program delivery, and to identify novel data sharing approaches that can be replicated in other jurisdictions.

Grants will focus on addressing longstanding barriers to interoperability, including technology, business, legal, organizational, and process-oriented factors. Results will be disseminated to inform future efforts and facilitate replication of promising practices.

Two HSII grants have been awarded:

  1. Georgia State University aims to achieve interoperability between Georgia’s Division of Family and Children Services’ units by using an approach already implemented in their school system, by using an open source, cloud-based hashing solution to match and link records. Georgia’s tool will perform identity-matching functions without requiring a social security number for matching within units of DFCS as well as sister agencies. They will be able to offer a free cloud-based solution for interoperability and data sharing that will pave the way for smoother data sharing agreements and alleviate legal and privacy concerns.

    The focus of research will be on identifying risk factors of child maltreatment fatalities and comparisons of outcomes for children in foster care. Outcomes will include reducing the numbers of child fatalities, assisting child welfare personnel in call centers and caseworkers with case management, and improving outcomes for children in care. 
  2. Kentucky’s Department for Medicaid Services has proposed a new effort known as the Kentucky Health Information Data Sharing (KHIDS), which aims to improve outcomes for youth in their child welfare system through enhanced data sharing. Kentucky seeks to connect multiple agencies serving youth in Kentucky so they create an interoperable network of agencies to better meet their service needs. They will connect health data with relevant data in other Departments of Kentucky to aid in case planning and management. These data will include a wide array of services, treatments and other interventions that children have received across departments, providing a more accurate picture of their current health status, and assisting case workers. The connection will also provide a secure, ongoing platform for continued data sharing. They will also apply a data governance model, and create a toolkit and measurement framework for replication by other jurisdictions or agencies. They will combine the effort of creating multiple connections between different agencies and the Health Information Exchange into one project. By doing this, they hope to streamline efforts, improve youth outcomes related to health, reduce administrative burden and track and evaluate their programs and services, across agencies.

Point(s) of contact: The Federal point of contact for this program is Kenneth Salyards.