New 2017 Funding Announcement for Tribes

NICWA-2015The National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA) passed on the funding notification from The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, (SAMHSA) regarding SAMHSA “accepting applications for Systems of Care grants to support mental health services and systems for children, youth, and families in tribal communities.

The purpose of this infrastructure program is to provide tribal communities with the tools and resources to implement or expand a community-based, coordinated system of care model for children’s mental health.

Applications filed now are for funding beginning in October 2017.

NICWA facilitated a recorded webinar on November 10, 2016, to:

  • Explain the purpose and goals of the funding opportunity;
  • Walk through each element of the FOA and provide tips for successful applications;
  • Encourage tribal applications; and
  • Answer questions

You can listen to the recording of the full webinar here.

Tribal applications are encouraged! The deadline is January 3, 2017.  

If you are still uncertain about applying after watching the webinar, please contact NICWA– they are happy to answer your questions where we can!”

“The purpose of this program is to improve behavioral health outcomes for children and youth (birth-21) with serious emotional disturbances (SED) and their families. This program will support the widescale operation, expansion, and integration of the SOC approach by creating sustainable infrastructure and services that are required as part of the Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services for Children and their Families Program (also known as the Children’s Mental Health Initiative or CMHI).

This cooperative agreement will support the provision of mental health and related recovery support services to children and youth with SED and those with early signs and symptoms of serious mental illness (SMI), including first episode psychosis (FEP), and their families.

The SOC Expansion and Sustainability Cooperative Agreements will build upon progress made in developing comprehensive SOC across the country by focusing on sustainable financing, cross-agency collaboration, the creation of policy and infrastructure, and the development and implementation of evidence-based and evidence-informed services and supports. Other activities supported will include the implementation of systemic changes, training, and workforce development.”

Additionally, the Circles of Care VII grant is available for application as well. ” The purpose of this program is to provide tribal and urban Indian communities with tools and resources to plan and design a holistic, community-based, coordinated system of care approach to support mental health and wellness for children, youth, and families. These grants are intended to increase the capacity and effectiveness of mental health systems serving AI/AN communities. Circles of Care grantees will focus on the need to reduce the gap between the need for mental health services and the availability and coordination of mental health, substance use, and co-occurring disorders in AI/AN communities for children, youth, and young adults from birth through age 25 and their families.”

The deadline for this funding opportunity is December 20, 2016.

Handel VP Hosts Webcast via NICWA about Improving Service Delivery with Software

Innovative Examples from Indian Country– Improving Service Delivery using Software and Technology, Handel Information Technologies software. The second in our “Technology Tools Webinar Series!”

In this, the second of our “Technology Tools Webinar Series,” we are excited to have Casey Bader, Vice President of Handel Information Technologies, Inc., share his knowledge about innovative ways tribes are using software and technology to engage with clients, integrate programs, improve service delivery, and secure funding. Some of these initiatives have received national recognition for innovative approaches to addressing community needs.

Casey and Handel Information Technologies, long time NICWA supporters, have presented numerous times at NICWA’s annual conference and have a wealth of experience in Indian Country. We are happy to have the opportunity to have them present to our NICWA members.

Casey has spent over 15 years designing and implementing innovative software solutions with RiteTrack for social service programs and is passionate about finding ways technology can improve service delivery and outcomes in Indian Country. His program focuses include Indian Child Welfare, Family Services, Tribal TANF, Employment and Training, Tribal Court and Treatment programs. Casey has a degree in Social Science with a minor in Sociology from the University of Wyoming.

Reauthorizing the JJDPA

On September 22, 2016 the House of Representatives passed HR 5963, the Supporting Youth Opportunity and Preventing Delinquency Act. This bill reauthorizes the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) of 1974.

reauthorizing-the-jjdp-webThe bill was then sent to the Senate on September 26, 2016 and read on the floor. It was placed on the legislative calendar under General Orders. There has been no movement since then. Previously, this bill was sent to the Senate’s calendar on April 30, 2016 where it stalled until after the House passed its version earlier this month.

The last time this Act was reauthorized was in 2002 and helps states and local communities serve at-risk youth and juvenile offenders. The most recent reauthorization of the JJDPA expired in 2007.

The Senate has until the end of 2016 to take action.

The Coalition for Juvenile Justice (CJJ) described the JJDPA as “one of the most successful standard-setting statutes at the federal level and at its heart recognizes the value of citizen-driven efforts to prevent and stem delinquency. The success of the JJDPA has been supported in significant part by the national agenda-setting, research, evaluation, oversight, and technical assistance functions of OJJDP. It remains the landmark federal statute—and single most influential piece of federal legislation—providing four substantive safeguards (core protections) for youth who come into contact with the juvenile justice system.”


Coalition for Juvenile Justice Special Federal Policy Update:

Congressman Bobby Scott:

Coalition for Juvenile Justice Reauthorization of the JJDPA:


Handel Relay Team Completes the 2016 Wild West Relay

Under the leadership of Casey Bader, employees from Handel, augmented by friends and family, formed another 12 person running team. Team Wyoming Endorfiends ran the 200 miles from Fort Collins, via Wyoming, to Steamboat, Colorado. Starting at 5:20 AM the morning of Friday, August 5th, the team finished in Steamboat about 32 hours later on Saturday afternoon.

This is the 6th time since we first did this in 2006 that Handel has formed a relay team. I find it to be a truly rewarding experience in so many ways, physically, beautiful scenery, social, and team building. Here is a video commemorating this year’s event.


Webcast Encore: Innovative Tribal Programs Powered by RiteTrack

Handel Vice President Casey Bader hosted a webcast examining case studies of innovative tribal programs using technology to improve service coordination, communication between staff and membership, and comprehensive reporting on April 21, 2016. An encore recording of this webcast is available here.

The webcast Innovative Tribal Programs Powered by RiteTrack explored several Tribes Handel works with that have developed innovative and powerful service delivery models that have received national attention.

Visit the link to see case studies from the White Earth Nation, Mohegan Tribe, and Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma that illustrate how these Tribes leverage technology to take ownership and control of their data and processes to create solutions that empower staff and improve member services.

These Tribes have improved access to services, engaged more directly with members, automated communication between staff and clients and enabled extensive reporting.

While these programs are unique, they have addressed struggles and goals common among many Tribes.

The principles contained in this webcast will apply to any Tribe or program interested in improving services of a single program or across multiple programs.

Rewatch the webcast today.

Handel’s Steve Koenig Presents at Ohio Court Technology Conference

Steve Koenig, Sales Executive for juvenile facilities, presented on RiteTrack for Juvenile Facilities at the Ohio Judicial Conference Court Technology conference on April 25. Steve discussed difficulties related to three main areas within a juvenile facility: youth management, data reports/generation, and facility management.

Featured during the presentation were various pieces of RiteTrack functionality that addressed each of these issues. With youth management, RiteTrack saves information from multiple admissions and eliminates duplicate data entries and ensures continuity in client data.

Data reports from the solution include incident, restraints, seclusions and room confinement reports that detail situations so all staff are aware of the youths’ activities in the facility.

Facility management in the solution includes functionality for room assignments, client inventory, and a facility schedule among other features.

Additionally, attendees learned that RiteTrack follows many of the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) and American Correctional Association (ACA) standards and guidelines.

More than 200 attendees from various courts in Ohio participated in the conference.

Koenig is available to present a conferences on a wide array of juvenile facility technology topics including enterprise-wide software implementations, case management models, and interfacing with multiple technology solutions.

Contact us if you would like to book him for a conference session or on-site demonstration.


“Who is Going to Do My Data Entry?” -Real-Time Data Entry in RiteTrack

Do you ever find yourself asking “I don’t have time to use social media because I can’t find anyone to do the data entry for me” ? Probably not. Most of us post on social media such as Twitter, FaceBook, and Instagram when the mood strikes us. We do it real-time as events in our lives unfold. We take a picture and we post it. We see a post we like and we click “like”. Social media platforms are so easy to use that it has almost become an extension of ourselves.
Why then is it that most government case management software is still looked upon as a burden, something we have to enter data into? Here at Handel we often hear objections from prospective clients like “who is going to enter the data for us” or “our staff is so busy we can’t burden them with any more work”. Fortunately, we rarely hear these complaints from our customers who have already implemented RiteTrack. When correctly implemented a system like RiteTrack can become an extension of the work you do. You don’t need additional staff to do your data entry. Rather than going back to your office to “catch up on paperwork” the paperwork is generated as you do your work. Rather than being a burden to your staff, it empowers them to do their job better. In fact, the majority of our customers will claim that RiteTrack enables their employees to spend more time with the clients that they serve and less time doing paperwork. As a system generates better data and frees up staff time, this ultimately leads to better services for the people that you serve. Better data leads to better information, which in turn informs better decisions. Everyone wins.
So how is this possible? I believe there are four areas in particular that contributes to how RiteTrack succeeds in this area.
  • Distributed data-entry
  • Relational data
  • Intuitive user interfaces
  • Web-based software
Distributed Data-Entry
RiteTrack is a role-based system. This means each user has a role and they enter the data relevant to their specific job. This reduces the “data-entry” burden because it is not one person’s responsibility to enter all data relative to a specific client.  Each person has a little piece of the software in which they do their work. An admissions manager at a juvenile facility does the intake. A caseworker establishes a treatment plan. A counselor enters a progress note after providing services. Over time, different people contribute different pieces of information which gradually builds the case, improves communication, provides better information, and creates better outcomes.
Relational Data
All data in RiteTrack is related in one way or another. RiteTrack uses a highly relational database that reduces the need for re-typing data. For example, in a traditional database, you may need to enter a clients name, phone number, address, parent information each time they come in. Let’s say that a client is entered into RiteTrack. This client has a sibling who was previously entered in the system. Through RiteTrack’s relationship module, it becomes easy to “inherit” select information from the sibling such as parents names, addresses, phone numbers. This reduces the data entry burden on your staff and provides better information across the board. Let’s say during intake it is established that the client has a new address. The old address is archived, the new address is entered, and now everyone have access to the latest address information.
Intuitive User Interfaces
Frequently, traditional “data entry systems” were difficult to use because they were poorly designed and/or built on old technology platforms. Anyone remembering having systems where you had to click 5 or more times to get to the screen you needed? RiteTrack was built from the ground up to optimize the work-flow and minimize the number of clicks or keyboard strokes that a user have to execute. With frequent use of customizable drop-down boxes and hyper links, navigation and data entry is optimized to be as efficient as possible. This allows the user to focus on entering information, not looking up or navigating.
RiteTrack 5 Capture

RiteTrack facilitates easy navigation through hyperlinks.

Web-Based Software
Because RiteTrack is web-based you can access your information from anywhere you have an internet connection. This means you can enter data while in the field, while in a court-room, or even in your office. You enter data as events happen, not afterwards.
We hope to have an opportunity to help your organization transition to an information solution where data entry is no longer viewed as a burden but rather a process that is built in to and aligned with your daily activities.  That has been our mission since day 1 and continues to become easier as technology evolves, as broadband expands, and as we all become more used to technology being part of our daily lives.


Linking JDAI standards to RiteTrack

annie-e-caseyThe JDAI helpdesk website states, “Since 1992, the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative, a project of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, has demonstrated that jurisdictions can safely reduce reliance on secure confinement and generally strengthen their juvenile justice systems through a series of interrelated reform strategies.”

As you may know, I was a former Director of the Perry Multi County Juvenile Facility (a juvenile community ACAcorrection facility in Ohio) and our focus was on treatment of juvenile, male felons through a cognitive-based treatment program. I do want to point out that I am not an expert in Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative (JDAI) standards; however, in my current position with Handel I have become DOJ-OJPmuch more familiar with them. JDAI standards closely align with the American Correctional Association (ACA) standards and they incorporate the Prison Rape Elimination Standards (PREA) as well. Both the ACA and PREA standards are areas that I am very familiar with having completed two ACA audits and a PREA audit.

As revealed in the JDAI Detention Reform Brief Cost-Saving Approach, some of the JDAI strategies are to increase system efficiency, develop a non-secure alternative that is less expensive than detention, help keep kids out of state facilities and help explore the most cost-saving intervention for a youth. From my experience in a juvenile facility, I know first-hand the ease with which the juvenile correction community easily faults to the “Well, that’s the way we’ve always done it…” or “That’s just the way it’s done.” I was a process-oriented director and one of my skills was to always look at why we do something and if we could do it better. I think that is why I am intrigued to learn (from my exploration of JDAI) that a focus seems to be to look at problem solving differently and to focus on different options and outcomes beyond the traditional way of committing youth to detention.

However, I am not here to give you more information about the JDAI standards. I want to tell you about a software solution that can greatly help facilities recognize and implement the JDAI strategies in their communities and better manage their cases and facilities as well. This solution is RiteTrack and it is juvenile facility software that assists in 2016 JJ Reportsmanaging your facility and the youth in that facility. It is equipped with a powerful reporting module that can incorporate many of the JDAI required reports. Additionally RiteTrack can also assist the JDAI local community that is responsible for entering, collecting and generating data to address compliance with the JDAI standards. RiteTrack is a software system that tracks common functions like incident, restraint and room confinement documentation, along with common practices of treatment plans, group notes and room assignments. RiteTrack excels as a facility and youth management system while allowing you to generate JDAI data not only from a juvenile facility level but also to a functionality level that compiles JDAI data for a whole JDAI community.

I will focus on three points about RiteTrack and JDAI: generating and managing data, using data to make decisions and managing the facility.

Point 1: Generating and Managing Data

Data is an essential component of JDAI, and it only makes sense that you have to generate data as the first step before you can analyze and use that data. While JDAI encourages the person or persons who share(s) the responsibility of data generating to use the simple format of Excel, it is not the most effective or efficient method. JDAI might recommend Excel because so many people have access to it; and in a JDAI community, the data come from many different areas and levels. Data generation has to occur at the probation officer level, the court level, the community alternative placement level, detention level and other agencies such as community mental health or community drug and alcohol treatment organizations that may be involved with the youth. So there is a possibility that you have many different organizations collecting data that then have to be transferred or given to one centralized “data collector” to process and manage. RiteTrack can play a very important role in this “collection” by acting as the central point of entry.

2016 Face Sheet

RiteTrack allows youth to be entered into the system and then additional data added to the youth’s record. Once information is added to RiteTrack then it is saved and will stay with the youth throughout his/her involvement in the process, even including if the youth is placed in an alternative placement or detention. Data such as race, gender, age, geography, prior placements, prior and current criminal offence, offence type, involvement with child welfare, involvement with substance abuse treatment and length of stay in detention are all areas in which data needs to be collected for JDAI standards. RiteTrack offers all those components as standards within the basic RiteTrack system, so a youth’s record in RiteTrack can contain all this information (generated by various agencies involved with the youth) in one record in one place. Additional areas that are important such as risk assessments, which are done either on paper or in another system, can be added to the RiteTrack system so that all information that is collected on a youth is stored and accessible in a centralized data collection location. This whole set of data can be recalled or opened at any time by qualified RiteTrack users. RiteTrack is a web-based solution that is easily accessible with internet access, so long as the user passes security clearances set up in each facility system.

Point 2: Using Data in Making Decisions

We all are aware of the trends in juvenile justice to use evidence-based practices to make decisions based on data. Decisions should not be based on how we feel or what is available, but they should be objective tools to assess level of risk. JDAI suggests that we evaluate data on a regular basis (e.g., daily population counts of youth in detention, quarterly reports and continual review of the data collected such as race, gender, age and geography). Therefore, data must be gathered and analyzed throughout the process and throughout the community that is involved in the JDAI. Data analysis can help shareholders decide when and if an effective community-based alternative would be appropriate. Data analysis can assure that detention is used only when appropriate and only for those youth that are high risk of reoffending. Data can assist in determining bias in the system based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and geography, among others; and determine if there is “institutional bias” within the system. Only when we see the data over a period of time can we make good decisions.

RiteTrack allows for all data, generated by a JDAI community to be stored in a centralized location and readily available to help in the decision-making process and JDAI reporting. Such a system is more cost effective and more efficient, and allows easier tabulation of data, which facilitates a better, more streamline decision process for the youth in a JDAI community.

2015 Juvenile Admission Statistics

Since RiteTrack is also facility software, data generated from youth being in the facility (i.e., number of incident reports, number of restraints, time in room confinement, number of hours of group participation, and facility population reports) can also be used to make decisions and determine a youth’s progress while in the facility itself.

Point 3: Managing a Facility

To participate in JDAI a facility must track and report on the following: race, ethnicity, gender, age, geography, placement history, child welfare involvement, mental health, substance abuse, education, family history, housing, prior offences, probation status, offence and offence type, aggravating factors and length of stay in detention.


RiteTrack tracks all of these data points. Each of these points are collected and tracked via drop-down menu options that are accessible and may be customized by a system administrator. In addition, many of these points have models in RiteTrack that allow for input of descriptive narratives. For example, tracking aggravating factors would most likely involve a short story or description of the aggravating factors. Workers unfamiliar with a youth would need to see what led to, or what is being described as the aggrieving factor in the incident entry. Therefore, through progress notes, RiteTrack tracks the number of incidents as well as descriptive elements.

Finally, in addition to collecting, tracking and reporting all the youth personal and participation data for a facility, RiteTrack also functions as a case management and facility management module. RiteTrack, as a case management system, encompasses treatment plans, progress notes and demographic information. As a facility management system it includes functions such as shift reporting, inventory management and incident, restraint and room-confinement reporting. RiteTrack complies with the common practices of attaching pictures, reports, video clips or tabulation of hours and minutes of room confinement time to the data entries. RiteTrack also provides a due process model, which is required for grievances, and which demonstrates compliance with due process related to major incidents within a facility. The RiteTrack design of both a case management model and facility model incorporated into one solution, allows for data reporting from both “parts” of the RiteTrack system.

RiteTrack offers the ability to generate data for the JDAI community while also serving its primary focus as juvenile facility software that manages a facility and the youth within the facility. Doing all this as a single software system, RiteTrack is an effective, efficient and cost-saving approach for any community and facility participating in the JDAI standards.

To see a demonstration of the RiteTrack system and to see how RiteTrack can assist your organization or community in compliance with the JDAI standards, please give me a call at 740-994-0500 or send me an e-mail with any question you may have at