Category Two: Data Collection and Sharing for Law, Policy, and Program Development

The goal in Category Two is to develop aggregated data on the characteristics of specific case populations and the processes for their handling to be used for the improvement of policies and practices and better coordinated responses involving multiple agencies.  Personally identifiable information about children from multiple agencies may be linked, stripped of identifiers, and then aggregated for analysis.  

The following issues arise in Category Two:

  • Stakeholders must first identify the questions to be answered by the aggregate data.
  • Each participating agency must understand its responsibility and be accountable for data collection.
  • Participating agencies will have to maintain the technological capacity to develop aggregated data, and determine how to allocate the costs of supporting such capacity among themselves.
  • Participating agencies need to enter into interagency sharing agreements that specify the parameters of interagency data collection and sharing, including:
    • To what extent the agencies will share proprietary information, versus the development of a shared database to which all participating agencies have access.
    • Which agency or agencies shall have the responsibility to aggregate the data.
    • Guidelines for dissemination and use of aggregated data including whether and to what extent aggregated data will be made available to the public.
    • Safeguards may be needed against the potential for undesirable publication of individual case information in the data collection process.