The impact of privacy laws on cross agency collaboration cross over youth project model

Statement of Problem: The U.S. Department of Justice started to notice an influx of youth becoming wards of the state throughout the United States. A common pattern that judges noticed for these youth included being in the child welfare system along with the justice system. Judges ordered all the participating agencies that coordinate care for youth in the child welfare system to come together to provide more effective and efficient services to their shared clientele. This cross-agency collaboration includes Child Welfare, Probation, Behavioral Health Services, Department of Education, and Juvenile Courts. These agencies must work together to help their shared client. However, that includes sharing personally identifiable information. With these collaborations’ privacy laws prohibit data sharing amongst outside agencies. My thesis explored how the impact of privacy laws could be overcome, by focusing on Sacramento County’s implementation of the Cross Over Youth Project Mode as a case study. Sources of Data: I used a qualitative approach for this research. I conducted non-participant observations of meetings to see if these privacy laws impacted any information these stakeholders shared amongst each other. Additionally, I conducted interviews of the staff from the different agencies participating in this cross-agency collaboration. Conclusions Reached: The current policy does allow for sharing data. However, the process could be expedited if the language in the policy actually explicitly stated that all stakeholders that form a multidisciplinary team are also allowed to share data with one another.