(Photo by Stephen Babcock)
The state of Maryland is going to build a new platform to improve its use of data when providing social services.
Gov. Larry Hogan said Thursday that more than $200 million is being invested into MD THINK, or Maryland’s Total Human-services Information Network (hey, acronyms gotta acronym). It’s a cloud-based data repository that will make it easier to share information across departments.
A first phase will focus on sharing info between the state’s human resources and health departments to help children in foster care, disconnected youth and families. Caseworkers will also receive tablet devices for the first time so they can input data in the field.
The state received $195 million in federal funding for the project, and is kicking in $14 million of its own money this year.
The platform was conceived by Sam Malhotra, the former Department of Human Resources Secretary who is now Hogan’s Chief of Staff.
Hogan said at a press conference announcing the platform that the need became clear when state officials were coordinating services in the aftermath of the unrest that followed Freddie Gray’s funeral in Baltimore in 2015. The state has lots of data, but didn’t have the technology to use it in a way that could target where they send resources.
“With MD THINK, we will have the ability to provide help to Marylanders where they are and when they need it through a holistic approach to care that cuts through the bureaucratic red tape,” Hogan said.-30-
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