California’s Health and Human Services Agency (CHHS) is an agency that administers essential services to millions of California’s most vulnerable and at-risk residents. As CHHS transitions toward a more client-centric approach to delivering services, it has partnered with the USC Children’s Data Network (CDN) to develop a first ever “record reconciliation” that links and organizes administrative, client-level records across eight major CHHS programs (i.e., CalFresh (aka Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program); CalWORKs (aka TANF); Child Protection; Developmental Services; Family Planning, Access, Care, and Treatment (Family PACT); In-Home Supportive Services; Medi-Cal; and Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)).
This data integration effort has resulted in the development of an encrypted master “intra-agency” client identifier, which facilitates the exchange of statistical information both within and between individual CHHS departments and the generation of important information about service involvement at a client and population level. In addition, it constitutes an important first step toward organizing CHHS data into family units and households – context critical to understanding CHHS clients and service experiences – and the development of longitudinal, cross-sector datasets for collaborative research, evaluation, and everyday operations. In short, this CHHS collaboration is helping to break down program siloes and create a more holistic view of clients and their cross-program experiences.