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Solving The Data Puzzle: A “How To” Guide for Cross-System Collaborations Effective Models for Sharing Data & Improving Child Welfare Outcomes Maura McInerney, Esq. Education Law Center November 4, 2011

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Solving The Data Puzzle: A “How To” Guide for Cross-System Collaborations Effective Models for Sharing Data & Improving Child Welfare Outcomes Maura McInerney, Esq. Education Law Center November 4, 2011 . - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • Solving The Data Puzzle: A How To Guide for Cross-System Collaborations

    Effective Models for Sharing Data & Improving Child Welfare Outcomes Maura McInerney, Esq. Education Law Center

    November 4, 2011


  • Legal Center for Foster Care & Education

    A joint project of the ABA, Education Law Center, Juvenile Law Center in collaboration with Casey Family Programs, Annie E. Casey Foundation & Stuart Foundation.

    A national technical assistance resource and information clearinghouse on legal and policy matters affecting the education of children and youth in out-of-home care


  • Data: The Key to Change ..

    Only one third receive high school diploma in four years;

    Twice as likely to drop out Philadelphia study: 75.2% of youth in care dropped out of high school in 2005

    2-4 times as likely to repeat a grade California study: 83% of children in care in Los Angeles were held back in school by the third grade

    Significantly below their peers on standardized testslower reading levels and lower grades in core academic subjects

    While 70% of foster youth dream of attending college, 7-13% gain access to any higher education programs and 2% obtain bachelors degrees.

  • What Sharing Data Can Do For You

    Indentify systemic problemsDevelop effective policies & priorities toImprove education outcomesIncrease accountability of systemsTarget funding (e.g., school stability) Increase and target $$ for specific goalsEducate and facilitate collaboration among multiple systems: Education, Child Welfare, Juvenile Justice, Employment, Job Training, Vocational, etc.

  • What Sharing Student-level Data Can Do:

    Identify individual educational needs of childTrack child over time and through systemsTrigger prompt interventionInform other decisions (e.g., placement and transition goals)Enhance and improve delivery of services to individual child

  • What Child Welfare Can Learn from Education Data Are we meeting our legal mandates for ensuring attendance and school stability?What do we need to change: Is there a correlation between educational failure and type of placement, length of placement, multiple school moves, lack of education advocate, emotional/behavioral problems, failed adoption; impact of school discipline, improve transition planning re education issues. What is the impact of: Prompt enrollment, school stability, trauma-informed curriculum; positive behavioral supports Longitudinal data: track children through school AND across systems employment, medical etc.

  • Child Welfare Agencies: Well-being & Permanency Outcomes

    Identify changes made in performance and practice since previous Statewide Assessment such as initiatives/strategies implemented by the State and ensure compliance with requirements of Fostering Connections, CFSRs, AFCARs

    **Provide quality assurance results or other data about educational assessments and services (how educational needs are assessed; inclusion of educational needs in the case plan and documentation in the child's record; what services the agency provides, role of bio and foster parent)

  • What Education Can Learn By Sharing DataWhat are the barriers to educational success for this student population? Are they promptly enrolled, approriately placed?Are there disproportionate referrals to alternative education or cyber programs? Are they able to equally access vocational technical programs, challenging courses etc.?How can schools address common barriers and improve outcomes through new policies, procedures etc.Are additional services/supports needed (e.g., credit recovery)Improve collaborations with child welfare & expand access to child welfare-based services Teacher development training Curriculum changes

  • What Courts Can Learn From Sharing DataPercentage of hearings where the childs education was addressed Number of school transfers while under court jurisdictionPercentage of children in each type of school placement while under court jurisdictionPercentage of children attending schoolPercentage of children whose GPA declined or improved while under court jurisdictionPercentage of children whose attendance rate declined under court jurisdictionPercentage of children under court jurisdiction ages 0-3 referred to Early InterventionPercentage of children under court jurisdiction ages 0-3 enrolled in Early InterventionPercentage of children under court jurisdiction receiving special education servicesPercentage of children under court jurisdiction that referred for evaluation for spec ed.Percentage of children suspended from school and impact on living placementPercentage of children expelled from school & impact on placementPercentage of children who graduate from High School/GED programsPercentage of children accepted into a higher education program

  • Look at Your System:What Data Is Being Collected, By Whom and to What End?

    What is Education Collecting?What is Child Welfare Collecting?What Are Courts Sharing?

    What is the purpose of the data collection?Where/how is the information maintained?How is it currently being used? What child welfare data relates to the educational outcomes of children in care? How could current data be revised/expanded to improve educational outcomes for children in care?How could it be shared across systems?

  • What Could Systems Collect/Share Type of educational placement: public school, residential settings (on-site school, homebound etc.)School completion rates: Drop out, years to complete high school; reasons for dropping out and at what ageCredit Issues: Document problems with credits, obtaining high school diplomaTransition Readiness: level of education, life skills training, transition plans.

  • What Could The Systems Collect/ShareSchool Mobility: Whether living placement resulted in school change & re-enrollmentSpecial Ed: Early intervention; evaluations requested/conducted; special education services delivered as child moves; type of learning/devpl disability; decisionmaker Early Childhood Education: Participation in Headstart/other programs: what age/how longDiscipline: Suspensions, expulsions, alternative education for disruptive youth

  • What is Education Already CollectingAll States Collect DataNCLB: No Child Left Behind / IDEAElectronically MaintainedStudent Specific Identification Numbers

    Each State May CollectAdditional Data (e.g., discipline info, links to other agencies)

    Administrator - COMMENT FOR ALL "GOAL SLIDES" - We can rearrange and eliminate stats and use the general "What we are seeing slides" that Maura developed. I think they are better...

  • No Child Left Behind Act: What is It?Seeks to improve educational performance and eliminate achievement gaps between groups of students. Requires States to implement accountability systems at the state, school district and school level. Strongly endorses use of longitudinal data:Each State may incorporate the data from assessments into longitudinal data systems that link student test scores, length of enrollment and graduation records over time. U.S. Dept. of Ed provides funding to states to develop systems to link records over time OR to identify best educational practices. See

  • Data Already Collected Under NCLBAttendance: Days absent without excuse and days enrolled in school School Enrollment: Tracks student mobility, enrollment delays & grade level designation at time of enrollmentAcademic Progress* Standardized scoresSpecial Education* Disability & ServicesProgram Template:Participation in remedial & other programs (Title I, HS)

    * = May be separate data system in your state

  • Student Level DataGenderRace/Ethnicity Student Status Court placed or alt ed.Economic status (Free/Reduced Lunch Program)Educationally Disadvantaged under Career and Technical Education programsPlan 504 Indicator/Special EdLEP Participation/English Proficiency/Language Breakdown/Language/ Home Language CodeCourses Advanced courses onlyGrade retentionExpected Graduation, Graduation Status Code & Type of Diploma Expected Post Graduate Activity

  • What Does Each States Data Already Tells Us Number of times children change schools AttendanceGrade retention & eligibility for supplemental education servicesState test proficiency in core subjectsSpecial Education & LEP participationParticipation in specific remedial programsGraduation status & expected post-secondary Drop out & graduation rates

  • What Could Education CollectPrompt Enrollment (FL example)Truancy Rates under State LawSchool Performance (e.g., San Diego)Special Education (evaluation requested)Academic Progress expanded definitionProgram Data vocational & ESY Course enrollment (beyond AP courses)Credit transfersDiscipline placements in schoolOn-time graduation rates & higher ed data

  • Whats Happening In YOUR State

    Data Quality Campaign Commission of the States

  • Data Sharing Action PlanStep I: Identify Subset of ChildrenStep II: Child Welfare Systems DataStep III: Educations Data: Can Education disaggregate non-student specific data using:Social security nos. (matched with student IDs) Residency codes already in Education systemAddress/name cross matchOther systemStep IV: Can data be shared across systems? What agreements? What are the barriers?Step V: Can longitudinal data track these children over time & after they age out?

  • Barriers to Sharing Data & Information Across Systems: Real & PerceivedChild Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act 42 U.S.C. 5101 et. seq.; 5116 et. seq. Purpose: Provides guidance to states related to their child protective services systems, including: reporting, investigating, supporting collaboration among agencies, and specifying confidentiality and information sharing.

    Allows for information sharing in two ways:When a state statute* authorizes the sharing of child welfare information with the school systemWhen school system has a need for limited information to protect the child from abuse and neglect.

    *Supports and enhances collaboration among agencies, including linkages with education systems

  • Sharing Information:Real & Perceived BarriersFamily Educational Rights and Privacy Act20 U.S.C. 1233g; 34 CFR Part 99Purpose: to protect privacy interests of parents and students regarding the students education recordsParents have the right to share or refuse to share records Exceptions to parental consent

  • What Education Records Can Be Shared with Child Welfare:Non-student specific data Directory InformationIf It qualifies as an education record,Need parent consentParental Consent Form (common practice: time of placement)OR falls under FERPA exceptions to consent (court order is one of the exceptions)

  • FERPA DefinitionsEducation records: Records that are directly related to a student and maintained by an educational agency or institution, or by a party acting for the agency or institution. See 34 CFR 99.3Parent : Natural parent, a guardian, or an individual acting as a parent in the absence of a parent or a guardian.

  • FERPA CONSENT NOT REQUIRED:Non-personally identifiable InformationStudent is identified by non-personal identifier Identifier itself is not a scrambled Soc. Sec. unless such identifiers are protected by written agreements reflecting generally accepted confidentiality standards within the research community; and cannot be linked to an student by anyone who does not have access to the linking key;data file is populated by data from education records in a manner that ensures that identity of any student is not easily traceable.

  • FERPA Exceptions (15)Directory Information (subject to Opt-out)name, address, phone, date and place of birth, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, and dates of attendance. Law Enforcement Exception: disclosure to state and local authorities within department of juvenile justiceEmergency Exception: Disclosure to appropriate parties in connection with emergency to protect health and safety of student or other persons; Judicial order or subpoena: Comply with court order **With notice of disclosure to parent/student

  • FERPA Compliance Tips

    Parental Consent FormMust notify parent of what they are sharing and with whom, for what purpose & duration Writing must be clear & user friendlyCourt OrderMUST be specific (not CW determines educat.) Individualized (CANNOT be blanket order)Reflect notice to FERPA parentMay limit scope of education records or use FERPA definition

  • FERPA: Proposed AmendmentsCreate a limited exception to parental notification and consent requirements permitting disclosure to child welfare where a student has been adjudicated dependent, the agency has legal custody of the child in out-of-home care, and the childs parent or eligible student has received written notice of the proposed releasePermit redisclosure where a child welfare agency obtains education records pursuant to 99.31(17) to redisclose records to foster parents, group home caseworkers, and other individuals responsible for the education, care or treatment of the student.

  • FERPA: Proposed AmendmentsAmend eligible student definition in 34 C.F.R. 99.3 to include youth who meet the McKinney-Vento definition of unaccompanied youth Include IDEA parents in the definition of parent under FERPA. Expand research exception.

  • Sharing Information To Improve Educational Outcomes

    Education to Child WelfareChild Welfare to EdJoint ResearchCommon Data System Accessed by Multiple Agencies (with varying levels of accessibility)

  • Sharing Individual Student DataCourt order, other exception or written consent embedded as a matter of practiceMOU sets forthPurpose and limitations of disclosure (expected use) & durationWho will access information and howProtects against redisclosure to 3rd partiesTechnological security protections/firewallsRetention of recordsGovernance

  • Building Political WillCost of NOT sharing informationAnecdotal evidence, statewide dataBetter Access = Better Outcomes: ExamplesChild welfare, Educational, Permanency & LifeEnsure privacy & compliance w/ fidelityEnsure compliance with state mandates Fostering Connections/McKinney/CFSRs It WILL Reduce Costs: Cost of dropout (prison, crime, drugs) & reduce time in foster care

  • Examples of Data Collection & Information Sharing

    Washington StateFlorida Department of EducationUtahWest VirginiaPima County, AZCaliforniaLos Angeles Education Coordinating CouncilSan DiegoFresno

  • How Can We Do This?ToolsSolving the Data Puzzle: Breaking Down Confidentiality and Decision-Making Barriers to Meet the Education Needs of Children in Foster Care Author: Kathleen McNaught Opportunities

  • Contact Information

    Maura McInerneyEducation Law Center [email protected] www.elc-pa.org1315 Walnut Street Suite 400Philadelphia, PA 19107215-238-6970 Ext. 316

    ***Website: Continually updated with new information, legal and policy resources, and announcements

    Database: Searchable library with legislation, articles, and research about education and foster care

    Listserv: important announcements about events and new resources, read questions and answers related to relevant foster care and education topicspost your own question, answers or information to advocates around the country who are working on these issues.

    Conference Calls: Relevant topics and issues, Opportunity to share knowledge of callers from around the country

    Technical Assistance: Provide assistance on Legal and policy issues, Share information from other jurisdictions

    *Website: Continually updated with new information, legal and policy resources, and announcements

    Database: Searchable library with legislation, articles, and research about education and foster care

    Listserv: important announcements about events and new resources, read questions and answers related to relevant foster care and education topicspost your own question, answers or information to advocates around the country who are working on these issues.

    Conference Calls: Relevant topics and issues, Opportunity to share knowledge of callers from around the country

    Technical Assistance: Provide assistance on Legal and policy issues, Share information from other jurisdictions

    *Youth in out-of-home care live, on average, in two to three different places each year. When youth move, they often are forced to changeschools. Studies indicate that frequent school changes negatively affect students educational growth and graduation rates. Youth incare are entitled to educational stability, and efforts must be made to keep them in their same school whenever possible. School may be theone place the youth has had (and can continue to have) consistency and continuity.

    *One law that gives us some guidance on how to gain access to educational information.

    Passed in 1974Provides money to states, if the states provide rights to parents*The McKinney-Vento Act guarantees youth who are homeless, including all thoselacking a fixed, adequate nighttime residence and those awaiting foster care placements,the right to remain in their original school (as discussed under Goal 1), but alsoguarantees immediate enrollment in a new school if school moves are necessary. Thisenrollment cannot be delayed, even if typical documentation required for enrollment isnot available (i.e., immunization records or birth certificates). McKinney-Vento also providesschool-based liaisons to help eligible students overcome enrollment issues and navigatethe education system. The extent to which these rights apply to youth in out-ofhomecare varies from state to state, but many children in foster care are currently coveredunder the McKinney-Vento Act. Federal legislative efforts are currently underway toexpand these protections to all youth in care. 42 U.S.C. 11431 et seq.

    Mythbusting: Breaking Down Confidentiality and Decision-Making Barriersto Meet the Education Needs of Children in Foster Care answers common questionsby individuals involved with the child welfare system, including judges, children'sattorneys, parents, foster parents, youth, caseworkers, and court appointed special advocates(CASAs). This publication (1) provides context and explains why there is a need toaddress the education needs of children in foster care; (2) debunks myths about confidentialityand decision making; (3) explains the federal laws that affect confidentiality of educationrecords and decision making; and (4) suggests strategies to overcome confidentialityand decision-making hurdles when addressing the needs of children in foster care. It isavailable online and contains interactive functions, including links between sections andto additional outside resources. To access the online version, see

    **These are most relevant for child welfare --

    Health and Safety used for emergencies where immediate release of the info is necessary to control a serious situation investigation stage, perhaps? Day to day enrollment, probably not.

    JJ exception if state statute permits disclosure IL and FL only at this point

    Court order exception and all other FERPA exceptionsno redisclosure unless there is another FERPA exception. For example, court order could contain language about release to child welfare, but child welfare could not release to mental health or other provider unless the court order also contained language about releasing to them. In contrast, if child welfare accesses the records as the parent under FERPA, they are free to redisclose to whomever they choose. (In accordance with CW policies and procedures).*Three ways for Child Welfare to gain accesswe will discuss each in more detail. *According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children in fostercare have higher rates of physical, developmental, and mental healthproblems, and may enter into foster care with unmet medical andmental health needs. These critical health needs must be addressed inthe early years in order to ensure that young children are developingappropriately and will be ready to benefit from school. Critical toaddressing the pre-learning needs of young children is linking them tothe full range of screening and early intervention services available.

    *Too often, youth are prevented from accessing school services availableto all other youth. Not only must youth in out-of-home care receiveequal treatment, they also will frequently need additional supports. Theabsence of family and educational stability combined with histories ofabuse and neglect mean that youth in care experience higher rates ofgrade retention and lower academic achievement than their peers.Effectively responding to these needs may require the creation of specificpolicies and additional supports designed to improve academic achievementand broaden their access to all aspects of the school experience.