Wisconsin Promise's Response to SSA's Request:
What needs to be in place (other than funding) in order for the services PROMISE provides to become sustainable? (For example: permanent partnerships, MOUs, data sharing, etc.)
- Family Services. One key to PROMISE is services were not only for the youth, but also for the youth's family members or household. This is important because youth's eligibility for SSI is based on household income, and if the goal is to help break the cycle of poverty, then helping not only the youth but also helping a youth's family members/household members reach their education, employment and financial self-sufficiency goals is also important. The issue is there are no state or federal programs that currently pay for providing services and supports to the family members of the youth, so a way to fund these services and supports would need to be identified.
- Data Sharing: Wisconsin Promise inter-agency partners plan to discuss data sharing beyond Promise.
- Consent to Share Data. Wisconsin Promise youth and family members signed a research consent form, consenting for their data to be shared across state agencies. Given various privacy laws, without a signed consent form, data sharing might be limited after Wisconsin Promise. Agency partners plan to have further conversations about this later in the project, so there may be a way to continue to share data across state agencies after Wisconsin Promise, but that needs to be worked out yet.
- Matching Individual Data Across Systems. Matching individual data across various inter-agency administrative systems and vendor owned systems for contracted services can be difficult without a common identifier across systems. Uniquely identifying individuals across systems is challenging because no single ID, such as SSN, is used across all the various partners sharing data. Better infrastructure to support identifying and matching individuals more efficiently would be an improvement to facilitate sharing information, and provide a more complete and accurate picture of the individual.
- SSA Security Clearance and Data Sharing. As a large demonstration grant, each PROMISE project was required to recruit at least 2,000 youth receiving SSI and their families. Only individuals with SSA security clearance could gain access to the eligibility list from SSA. The process for SSA security clearance was both restrictive and time consuming. If SSA plans to do similar large demonstration projects in the future, recruitment would be faster if the clearance process was both less restrictive and took less time.