LOSING TRACK

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FYI: New York has a history of problems spending federal money meant for setting up a child welfare services data system. And it’s not the only state. According to a General Accounting Office report released yesterday, the majority of the 47 states that are working to set up case tracking systems are behind schedule. States are having trouble securing matching local funds, finding contractors and developing systems that work statewide–which is the problem that has frustrated New York’s effort. Since 1994, Washington has offered states cash to develop information systems that track data on child welfare services. GAO says money’s not enough; Washington has to offer states more technical assistance and guidance on developing the systems. [8/14/03]