In 2009, the Colorado Children and Youth Information Sharing (CCYIS) Initiative was created as a result of many state and local children-, youth- and family-serving agency representatives hearing concerns about the lack of guidelines about sharing of confidential information across systems. Youth who become involved in the juvenile justice system frequently come with a multitude of issues. They and their families have often traversed through a variety other youth serving systems by the time they reach the delinquency system —education, child welfare, mental health, substance abuse— sometimes simultaneously. Providing services through a system of care approach yields positive results for youth and their families but a system of care infers that systems can share critical information expeditiously and appropriately.
Over the course of several years, the CCYIS secured the commitment of multiple state agencies including the Department of Human Services, State Court Administrator’s Office, Department of Public Safety, Department of Public Health & Environment, and Department of Education to make information sharing across systems a priority. The CCYIS, using national and state experts on privacy and confidentiality laws and practices, developed the Colorado Common Authorization/Consent to Release Information Form and provided regional training summits across the state to multi-disciplinary audiences on the use of the form, the laws which guide releasing of confidential information and how local communities could work collaboratively together to make sharing information a seamless practice for them as professionals and for the families they serve.
Visit the Colorado Children and Youth Information Sharing (CCYIS) Initiative website for additional information including a Practitioner Guide for Information Sharing and to download the Colorado Common Authorization/Consent to Release Information Form.
What information should be shared among the agencies? See the following outline:
Having a memorandum of understanding among the agencies in your area helps maintain the flow of information over the long term. Here is a model agreement that can be modified to fit the needs of your particular district or area.