- A. James Schwab, Ph.D.
CSWR engaged in a multi-year effort to construct a statewide health and human services database by the Center for Social Work Research. The purpose of constructing a database of health and human service information was to examine different aspects of the service delivery system in the State of Texas. CSWR began collecting statewide health and human service data in June, 1993 to establish a method of evaluating the impact of the pilot access projects implemented under HB7. The project was expanded the next year to examine the whole state focusing primarily on two aspects of human service delivery: 1) the number of people receiving services by program and 2) the number of people receiving services from more than one agency. In the final year of the project researchers were asked to help with the implementation of the IDBN system. Data from IDBN was crossmatched with that collected by the researchers to verify the accuracy and completeness of IDBN.
The project began with the researchers meeting with the information resource managers from the participating state health and human services agencies to discuss the process of collecting and matching client data across programs and agencies. Due to the availability of data in a format that could be matched, the researchers decided to concentrate data collection efforts on four state agencies. The programs and agencies represented in the database system beginning September 1, 1991 included: Texas Department of Health (Chronically Ill and Disabled Children’s Services, Maternal and Child Health Services Program for Amplification of Children of Texas Women, Infant, and Children Nutrition Program),Texas Department of Human Services (Aid to Families with Dependent Children, Child and Family Medicaid, Aged and Disabled Medicaid, and Food Stamps); Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation (CARE Data: Residential, Client and Family Support, and Case Management Services); and Texas Rehabilitation Commission (Vocational Rehabilitation Services, Independent Living Services, and Extended Rehabilitation Services).