Research Scientist Janel Harris of the Minnesota Department of Health welcomed participants. She thanked the organizing states — Georgia, Minnesota, New York, and West Virginia. She also thanked three organizations: the Family Support America (FSA), the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) of the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Chapin Hall Center for Children. Harris presented three goals for the meeting.
- To explore promotional indicators frameworks
- To move states toward agreement on some promotional indicators in order to support cross-state compatibility
- To gain insight into the federal perspective on promotional indicators
Following Harris, Gail Koser sketched FSA's perspective on family support. She said that family support is the cornerstone of the organization's work. Under a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant, FSA works to advance a family support agenda in eight states. In action, family support principles are embodied by such activities as the creation of a welcoming voice for families in society through public information efforts, discussion, and training mechanisms.
Martha Moorehouse of ASPE noted her pleasure at being at the meeting and thanked FSA and the state of Minnesota. She said that one of ASPE's goals for its project was helping states work together, noting that it is exciting to see the four states who convened the meeting working together to integrate their ASPE- and FSA-supported ventures.
Ann Segal, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy Initiatives at ASPE, pointed out that indicators work is going on at many governmental levels in the U.S. and that two factors — data and cost — are among key concerns. Confidentiality issues, especially threats to confidentiality posed when service data are linked, are also a concern.