Monday, August 25, 2014

ACF Confidentiality Toolkit

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released the “ACF Confidentiality Toolkit.” The toolkit provides human service professionals at the state and local levels with an understanding of how and when it is appropriate to share information across programs in order to provide more effective services and improve outcomes for children and families.

In communities throughout the country, human service providers support the well-being of children and families through a variety of programs, such as income assistance, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) assistance, child care and health and mental healthcare services. With individual data requirements and rules across service providers, data between these programs is often never shared as it would disrupt the confidentiality and privacy of individuals. It has become increasingly clear, however, that sharing data across programs can help service providers integrate and coordinate care. This coordination improves communication and efficiency, which can positively impact individual outcomes and the well-being of children and families. As the toolkit points out, better outcomes mean healthier, safer, stabilized individuals and families with a better chance of sustaining self-sufficiency and long-term personal success, which, in turn, reduces costs to the state and local governments.

ACF Confidentiality Toolkit will help state and local efforts by:
  • Providing examples of how confidentiality requirements can be addressed and met in a manner fully consistent with governing laws and underlying policies;
  • Including sample Memoranda of Understandings and data sharing agreements;
  • Providing helpful guidance to states and localities 

Learn more by visiting the ACF Confidentiality Toolkit.

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