At the age of 21, as foster children age out of the child welfare systems, case managers work hard to provide the supports needed to prepare the aging-out children to enter the world as self sufficient adults.
But there are myriad of questions that policy analysts and case workers often have, such as:
"How many children aging out of foster care this year might continue to need some mental health services?"
"Which programs and service systems can provide services for aging out children that might need linkages to employment services, community based services, etc.?"
These questions require integration of child welfare and mental health data, all within the confines of what is permitted under the federal, state and local laws. There are jurisdictions that have led the way on integrating data for precisely such use cases and have seen significantly improved care continuity and outcomes improvement as a result.