I subscribe to a listserv out of Harvard called Innovators Insights. It culls public-policy articles from all over. When you sign up, you pick general topics you want to hear about. (I can explain more if you ask.)
Today I received a link to a story about a new program in California to help foster children who have to change schools a lot. It sounds like a reasonable idea although I imagine some people might object to being in databases.
“Sacramento County, California, is now employing a database for foster youth to ensure that they can transition to new schools with fewer problems. Foster Focus tracks students’ grades, credits, course schedules, residential history, educational plans, the identity of their social worker, and other data so that students are no longer placed in the wrong grade level or in classes they have already completed when they enroll in a new school. The county has also developed another database that compiles foster home addresses, making it easier for social workers to place students in residences near their schools. Agencies across the country are soliciting the county’s advice as they seek to replicate these databases.” Read more here.
In a related story, U.S. Congressman James Langevin (Rhode Island) has been working to pass a federal law to prevent identity theft of foster youth. It is a serious issue as their personal information passes through many hands. I wonder if a database like the one in California makes this less of a problem by having everything in one place.