Interested in creating a community-wide information system? ... Only data sharing can enable outcome measurement across organizations
♦ Protect data confidentiality
♦ Enable data sharing through proper authorization
♦ Support organizational changes as your community initiative evolves
♦ Support robust parent consent
The main purpose of a community-wide information system is to support interactions with many service providers to deliver a comprehensive, longitudinal perspective on each child, leveraging data and technology to provide better, faster and continuously improved services. Organizations leverage COMET’s comprehensive, longitudinal community database offering through the efforts of Partner Organizations that work together on common goals in a Community Data Sharing Initiative or Consortium.
The needs of a community are unique and require a flexible, integrated systems approach. COMET offers a solution focused around your community's goals and indicators. We're always excited to learn about new approaches being utilized to move communities forward and improve outcomes - including Collective Impact and Strive models. A proven resource for supporting collaborative projects, COMET can support your community and its need for a secure, adaptable and open platform.
For over 50 years, our partner Children's Institute has been working with communities to improve outcomes for children - and that experience has informed the development of COMET and makes what we offer unique. We bring expertise in evaluation and community partnerships to create a backbone technology that can grow and change according to your community's priorities, from early childhood education to high school graduation to workforce readiness. Looking for mentor-activity tracking, case management, longitudinal analysis, trend reports, community level data mapping, progress monitoring and other features? We would be happy to talk with you, do a fit assessment and help you on your journey to a more collaborative community.
Community Data Sharing with COMET - Key Concepts
In Community Data Sharing Initiatives, participants share information regarding children they serve. It is essential to consider how the sharing is managed and authorized and which information is shared.
Data Owners: Data Owners: are partner organizations that directly interact with children and record child-driven information in COMET. These organizations "own" the data they record in an explicit or implicit agreement of confidentiality with each child parent [e.g.: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) for schools].
Data Seekers: Data Seekers are partner organizations that are interested in accessing Data Owner's child-related information either in aggregated, de-identified or identifiable format. Commonly, Data Seekers are also Data Owners, but not necessarily (e.g.: funding organizations like United Way, County or City services).
Aggregated reports: Typically, such reports may pull data from multiple Data Owners and consolidate / aggregate the counts accordingly. For example, a report may provide the count of unique children that are actively engaged and are receiving services from all Data Owner partners during a given period. These reports are usually authorized through the data sharing agreement between the service provider partners.
De-identified child-level reports or data extraction: Typically, such reports are used for research purposes. Records are de-identified meaning that they do not contain any data element that would allow to identify a child (e.g.: name, ID, phone #, email address, etc.) and in some cases there is a need to mask some demographics (there may be only 1 Pacific Islander leaving in Zip code 12345). These reports need to be authorized through the data sharing agreement between the service providers.
Identifiable child level records: Typically this data sharing is provided between service providers to inform their practice. For example, an after-school program may access the school district academic records to address individual child needs. Such data sharing commonly requires valid parent consent and a clear authorization from the Data Owner.
Valid parent consent often requires: proper disclosure to the parent, the ability for the parent to revoke consent and an expiration date.