Policy & Practice

A professional journal publishing articles on current health and human services issues for wide audience. Coverage includes social policy issues, reports of significant works of human service practitioners, social work theory and legislation, and editoria

Articles from Vol. 74, No. 5, October

5 Ways HHS Agencies Can Modernize for Greatest ROI
In a recent Governing Institute survey of 320 health and human services (HHS) decision-makers, nearly 1/3 of respondents said OUTDATED IT SYSTEMS IS ONE OF THE MOST CRITICAL CHALLENGES their agencies will face over the next year. According to Software...
Adoption Attorneys and Human Service Departments: Working Better Together
The July 2015 Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS) report (1) indicates that there were 50,644 children adopted with public child welfare agency involvement during the fiscal year. Many of those adoptions took place with...
A Look at the Social Issues Demanding Your Attention
The shifting HHS landscape is being driven by several social issues: The U.S. population is aging, the opioid epidemic is spreading at an alarming rate and mental health issues are becoming more complex. All of these issues are causing HHS agencies...
A Powerful Tool to Pinpoint and Prevent Prescription Drug Abuse
Opioid Abuse: An Escalating Problem In 2014, nearly 19,000 people died from prescription opioid-related causes--a 16 percent increase from 2013. (1) Killing more people than automobile accidents, approximately 78 Americans are fatally overdosing...
A Smarter Way to Serve: Mediware SaaS Solutions Allow HHS Agencies to Cost Effectively Monitor and Provide High-Quality, Person-Centered Care
Individuals with physical and developmental disabilities, substance abuse issues, and/or mental illnesses will all require an Increasing number of public health and human services as they age. Services to people with these special needs and older Americans...
Association News
ISM Announces 2016 Award WinnersA major highlight of this year's 49th Annual IT Solutions Management (ISM) conference was the Recognition Awards. Winners were announced and awards presented during a special luncheon on September 19. These awards recognize...
A Transformation in Progress
HHS POLICIES AND SYSTEMS MAY BE IN A STATE OF TRANSITION, but we can see which way they are headed. Individual programs --and the technology behind them--are becoming more integrated as policymakers seek to treat individuals and families more holistically....
Authentic Voice
Older adults, striving for dignity and choice, wish to grow old in their own home as comfortably, and for as long as possible. But many times they don't have this choice due to lack of access to the right supports available in their community.The answer...
Authentic Voice: Effectiveness of Peer-to-Peer Community Support to Promote Aging in Place
Older adults, striving for dignity and choice, wish to grow old in their own home as comfortably, and for as long as possible. But many times they don't have this choice due to lack of access to the right supports available in their community. The...
Client Safety: What Does "Line of Sight" Mean?
When caring for vulnerable clients, adult supervision is a must. Indeed, some situations demand that clients be kept directly in a "line of sight," and regulations and training manuals frequently use this phrase. For instance, New Jersey's Department...
Convergence Is Improving HHS Outcomes
Health and human services is at an inflection point. Changing demographics, emerging technology and ever-growing fiscal pressures are combining to transform the nation's priorities: * Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is bringing...
DESIGN at the HEART of the MATTER
Design is not only about making things look better. Good design makes them work better. That's why Lutheran Social Services of Illinois (LSSI)-the state's most comprehensive social service organization-used service design to address the health, mental,...
Design at the Heart of the Matter: How One Organization Used Service Design to Transform Whole-Person Care
Design is not only about making things look better. Good design makes them work better. That's why Lutheran Social Services of Illinois (LSSI)--the state's most comprehensive social service organization--used service design to address the health, mental,...
Empowering Jobseekers with Mental Illness and Substance Dependency
The connection between employment and psychosocial well-being is well established. Meaningful work contributes to mental health and well-being because it facilitates social inclusion and is intimately linked to self-esteem and identity. (1) At the...
Empowering Jobseekers with Mental Illness Dependency and Substance
The connection between employment and psychosocial well-being is well established.Meaningful work contributes to mental health and well-being because it facilitates social inclusion and is intimately linked to self-esteem and identity.1 At the same time,...
HHS and the Move to an Integrated Enterprise
Nearly 40 percent of HHS decision-makers said they need to modernize over half of their agency's IT systems, according to the 2016 CDG/Governing Institute survey. These outdated, siloed systems are a classic example of the traditional agency-centric...
How You'll Modernize HHS System
According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the federal government spends $80 billion a year on IT, much of which goes toward maintaining legacy IT systems. Decades-old hardware is a major problem for state and local governments as well....
How You'll Share Data Safely
The trend toward more data sharing both within and among states will drive more attention toward information security and privacy protection. The regulatory landscape around these issues is complex. The move toward mobility adds another layer of concern...
How You're Driving Down Costs-And Improving Lives
Health and human services--and particularly health care--eat up a large portion of state and local budgets. The cost of Medicaid, which largely serves low-income individuals, is shared between states and the federal government and accounts for the...
Idaho Simply Seeking to Help Families 'Live Better'
Ask yourself this ... "what is the role of a health and human service agency?" The list of administrative responsibilities is a mile long but when you think about what we are trying to do, it is fairly simple ... we are here to help families "Live...
Into the Great Unknown: Multiple Forces Are Pushing HHS Programs toward an Integrated and Data-Driven Future, the Ultimate Form Which Remains to Be Seen
THE WAY OUR NATION DESIGNS AND RUNS HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (HHS) PROGRAMS is in the midst of unprecedented change. Spiraling demands, evolving policies and new technologies are pushing the HHS field into uncharted waters. For agencies in this...
ISM Announces 2016 Award Winners
A major highlight of this year's 49th Annual IT Solutions Management (ISM) conference was the Recognition Awards. Winners were announced and awards presented during a special luncheon on September 19. These awards recognize the outstanding work state...
Managing Knowledge for Impact
Managing data, information, knowledge, and learning in health and human service (HHS) organizations is a complex endeavor that can either accelerate or inhibit goals toward integration, innovation, and sustainable outcomes. Historically, knowledge management...
Managing Knowledge for Impact: Strengthening the Capacity to Respond More Effectively to Current Issues and Plan for the Future
Managing data, information, knowledge, and learning in health and human service (HHS) organizations is a complex endeavor that can either accelerate or inhibit goals toward integration, innovation, and sustainable outcomes. Historically, knowledge...
Ongoing Progress in Reducing Teen Pregnancy
Across the nation the rates of teen pregnancy are dropping at staggering rates. Between 1991 and 2015 there was a 64 percent reduction in the teen birth rate. (1) While we can celebrate this accomplishment, we know that the country still faces huge...
Ongoing Progress in Reducing Teen Pregnancy
Across the nation the rates of teen pregnancy are dropping at staggering rates. Between 1991 and 2015 there was a 64 percent reduction in the teen birth rate.1 While we can celebrate this accomplishment, we know that the country still faces huge disparities...
Our Do'ers Profile
In Our Do'ers Profile, we highlight some of the hardworking and talented individuals in public human services. This issue features Elizabeth Connolly, acting commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Human Services. Name: Elizabeth Connolly ...
Predictive Analytics and the Future of Health and Human Services
Information systems are more effective than ever in collecting mass aggregates of data from all realms of life--financial, medical, criminal, even social. In recent years, this capability has created a buildup of extremely large and complex data sets...
Staff Spotlight
Name: Lexie GruberTitle: Policy Associate, Children and FamiliesTime at APHSA: Seven monthsLife Before APHSA: Immediately before coming to APHSA, I was working at First Focus on child welfare, child care issues, and on their communications strategy....
Why Easy Access to Data Visualization & Self-Service Analytics Is Crucial in HHS
HHS LEADERS KNOW DATA & ANALYTICS ARE IMPORTANT 82% say analytics are critical to lowering costs and improving health outcomes 77% say analytics help identify fraud VISUALIZATION HELPS WITH DECISION-MAKING 83% say the ability to visualize...
Why Framing Matters: A Review of the Basics
Framing is a key element of our theory of change, and we believe it is a critical shared strategy for anyone interested in moving system transformation in health and human services. Over the past couple of years--drawing on the expertise of framing...
Within Our Reach: Implementing Recommendations from CECANF
When the federal Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities (CECANF) issued its report, "Within Our Reach: A National Strategy to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities," last March, it was the culmination of a two-year effort...
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