When managing community data from multiple organizations about children, data privacy concerns are paramount. Here are three ways to think about data sharing to frame your community's plan for using data to support the success of the children you serve.
Typically, these reports pull data from multiple organizations and consolidate / aggregate counts accordingly. For example, a report may provide the count of unique children that are actively engaged and are receiving services from all service providers during a given period. These reports are usually authorized through a data sharing agreement between the service provider partners.
De-identified Child-level Reports / Exports
Often, these reports are used for research purposes. Records are de-identified meaning that they do not contain any data element that would allow identification of a child (for example: name, ID, phone #, email address, etc.). In some cases there is a need to mask demographics (there may be only one Pacific Islander child living in Zip code 12345). These reports need to be authorized through a data sharing agreement between service providers.
Identifiable Child-level Reports
Typically data sharing of specific details for a known child is provided between service providers in order to provide the most effective services for the child (to inform their practice). For example, an after-school program may access a child's school district academic records to cater activities to the individual child needs. Such data sharing requires a valid parent consent and a clear authorization to share the data from the organizations that manage the child's data. Note that valid parent consent often requires: (a) proper disclosure to the parent, (b) the ability for the parent to revoke consent and (c) an expiration date.
Hopefully your community has a plan on how to report on and analyze your data - and understands that legal data agreements and parent consent processes are required.