2014 -- S 2504 SUBSTITUTE A

Enacted 04/03/14


S E N A T E   R E S O L U T I O N


Introduced By: Senators Sheehan, Nesselbush, Cool Rumsey, Satchell, and Miller

Date Introduced: February 27, 2014



WHEREAS, State health and human service agencies increasingly turn to robust data systems to support their strategic planning, actions, and investments. Targeted data collection and analyses have allowed these agencies to identify gaps in services, to monitor the status of children and other vulnerable populations served in publicly-funded health and human services delivery systems, to track outcomes, and to direct resources to programs that demonstrate their effectiveness. These activities often result in publicly available reports that provide additional transparency in government spending; and 

WHEREAS, The Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) currently compiles a great deal of information related to the activities of the health and human services agencies, and the Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) compiles data related specifically to child welfare, collected in response to Child and Family Services Reviews, Title IV-E foster care eligibility reviews, the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System assessment reviews, the Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information System, and the quarterly Program Improvement Plans to the federal Administration for Children and Families. Some, but not all, of this data is submitted on a regular basis to EOHHS data warehouse to be integrated with information on services provided by other EOHHS agencies; and

WHEREAS, DCYF has worked closely with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative to establish a cost-benefit model to examine policies and procedures in the state's criminal justice system. As part of this effort, DCYF has reported on a number of indicators related to the child welfare system, but certain other measures that are critical to documenting children's well-being remain uncollected and if collected have not been shared with EOHHS data warehouse; and

WHEREAS, In 2013, the Senate's Health and Human Services Committee conducted hearings on DCYF which included extensive testimony on how DCYF's data collection and reporting could support better policy and decision-making; now, therefore be it

RESOLVED, That this Senate of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations hereby respectfully requests that EOHHS work in collaboration with the DCYF to enhance EOHHS' capacity to aggregate, collect, and utilize data to inform programmatic and policy decisions for children, youth, and families and all health and human service agencies that assist children and families at risk; and be it further

RESOLVED, That this Senate hereby respectfully requests that EOHHS work in collaboration with DCYF to build the analytical capacity to include in its reporting, to the extent practicable, the five measures identified in the November 2013 report of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee oversight of DCYF, including the incidence of maltreatment in foster care (on an annual basis), incidence of advance transition plans for youth transitioning from care, timelines of achieving permanent child placements (on a semi-annual basis), median length of stay in congregate care, and average open cases per social worker; and be it further

RESOLVED, That this Senate hereby respectfully requests that EOHHS collaborate with all state health and human service agencies, the Family Court, the Rhode Island Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and other agencies to identify and report common measures on youth in the foster care system, those entering the juvenile justice system, and children and families receiving preventative services; and be it further

RESOLVED, That this Senate hereby respectfully requests that EOHHS provide direction to DCYF and Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals (BHDDH) to enter into a memorandum of agreement by December 31, 2014, which specifically provides for youth who are identified with Severe Emotional Disturbance/Developmental Disability to be referred to BHDDH five years prior to their transition, and that specifically outlines the responsibilities of both DCYF and BHDDH to ensure the effective transition of youth identified as eligible for BHDDH services on their 21st birthday or before their 21st birthday if transition from DCYF to BHDDH is approved by the Family Court; and be it further

RESOLVED, That this Senate hereby respectfully requests that EOHHS facilitate DCYF's development of system-level measures to strategies, actions, and outcomes in its annual reporting to the General Assembly, to see how system-wide results can be strengthened; and be it further

RESOLVED, That this Senate hereby respectfully requests that EOHHS present a report to the Senate detailing additional costs and resources that relate to the requested data collection and reporting, for those measures that are not readily available; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State be and hereby is authorized and directed to transmit duly certified copies of this resolution to the Governor, the Director of the Department of Children, Youth, and Families, the Secretary of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, and the Commissioner of Education.

LC004738/SUB A