NASCIO Resources

Changing a Child’s Future through Cross Agency Information Sharing: Child Welfare, Child Support and the Courts Working Together

  • February 2010
  • Number of views: 13470

Timely information exchange between social workers and the courts can mean the difference between life and death for a child. It is essential that child welfare and the courts are communicating current developments as custody and child support cases are being discussed and before the courts make final decisions. Colorado has enabled this necessary information exchange through the use of the National Information Exchange Model - NIEM.

In this session we will describe how Child Support, Child Welfare, and the courts are able to share information and collaborate. These agencies are employing the NIEM standards to develop schemas and information exchange packages (IEDP’s) for use in “staying connected.”

We will show how these standards have enabled the state of Colorado to develop automated communications resulting in improved performance, reduced costs, and improved workflow that resulted in improving their core mission of helping children obtain the support they require. We will describe the business and social benefits that resulted from this collaboration and outline future directions.

Opening remarks:

  • Mike Locatis, Chief Information Officer for the state of Colorado.


  • Maureen Leif - Maureen is currently the Child Support Enforcement Coordinator at the Colorado Judicial Branch, serving as a liaison between the Judicial Branch and the State, County and Federal Offices of Child Support. Maureen serves on numerous state committees dealing with child support, domestic relation and child issues, including being appointed by Governor Bill Owens to the Child Support Commission. She has been involved with data exchange projects for the Colorado Judicial Branch and the project manager for the Data Information SHaring (DISH) Grant for the past three years. 
  • Richard Ordowich - Richard is the Coordinator for Data Quality/Data Standards at the Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) within Federal HHS. He is working on helping establish best practices in data standards and data quality improvement at OCSE. Working with the various divisions within OCSE and collaborating with workgroups including the Data Exchange for Courts and Child Support, Richard has helped in the development of the OCSE data standards governance polices as well as developing best practices for data harmonization and naming conventions. These efforts help improve the quality of data and will contribute to an increased opportunity for sharing data within the child support community. 
  • David Baker - David, a Senior Technical Specialist with ICF International, has worked on Administration for Children and Families (ACF) human services IT projects for 20 years, including work with Head Start, Child Care, Child Support, and Child Welfare. He has over 8 years experience reviewing statewide automated child welfare information system (SACWIS) projects and providing technical assistance to States. 
  • Kathy Chase - Kathy, a Child Welfare Business Analyst Supervisor and SACWIS Manager with the Colorado Department of Human Services, has worked on and supported Colorado’s SACWIS system, Colorado Trails, for the past 5 years. Prior to her time at Trails, she worked for over 10 years in program and policy for both Child Welfare Services and the Division of Youth Corrections. 
  • Kelli Stone - Kelli is a Technical Analyst with ICF International, has worked on Child Welfare projects for over 20 years. She began her career as a case manager, investigating reports of Child Abuse and Neglect. She managed IT projects in GA that were designed to track Foster Children and their case plans. She has worked on statewide automated child welfare information system (SACWIS) projects in Georgia, Florida, and most recently Tennessee. 
  • Di Graski - Di is a Court Technology Associate, National Center for State Courts. The National Center for State Courts is a new partner in the National Resource Center for Child Welfare Data and Technology, a service of the Children’s Bureau. Di Graski supports the new Family Services domain in the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM 2.1), the Court/Child Welfare National Exchange Template Task Force (NET), and NIEM Practical Implementers training.


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