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Human Services

Human Services Domain

Data is central to the Human Services (HS) mission. The NIEM HS domain supports information sharing and promotes interoperability between and across social service providers at the federal, state, local, and tribal levels. Standardized data and information exchanges help fulfill the following HS goals:

  • Improved service delivery for clients;
  • Reduced errors and improved program integrity; and
  • Improved administrative efficiency.

Leveraging NIEM for Human Services

Effective information sharing is critical to the success of a coordinated HS system and NIEM provides a mature and proven process for managing a robust vocabulary for reuse across a number of data sharing contexts. In the HS domain, there are various contexts for sharing data such as:

  • Reporting – sharing program performance measurements and results.
  • Data Query – requesting a specific set of information from another party.
  • Case Information – exchanging information like location, participant, financial, order, or hearing.
  • Status Verification – requesting status of an individual or case, often pertaining to eligibility or enrollment status in a benefit program.
  • Notifications – communicating information of specific interests to the community.
  • Record Transfer –moving cases or records to another agency.
  • Other Communities of Interest – sharing data with stakeholders outside the HS community.

Using well-defined data in these contexts can help improve the quality and consistency of the exchange while helping to reduce development costs and time by not reinventing definitions every time a new exchange is developed.

The NIEM HS domain complements the NIEM core with data common to HS, including case, placement, eligibility, provider, employment, and financial data by providing harmonized data elements into the NIEM HS domain data model.

Human Services Domain Activities

The NIEM HS domain is a component of a HS movement toward interoperability. As the domain’s steward, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) has made it a high priority to create and encourage greater collaboration and service integration among programs and agencies. Service integration or interoperability of human service programs offers opportunities to improve client outcomes, lower costs, and enhance operational efficiencies.

The domain has sought to leverage data from federal human service program offices such as Office of Child Support Enforcement, Children’s Bureau; state and local interagency cooperative projects; and organizations like National Center for State Courts and the American Public Human Services Association. We are using NIEM- UML methodologies for development and maintenance of the HS domain data model and federally-developed Information Exchange Package Documentation (IEPDs). Non-UML NIEM conformant IEPDs are also accepted from our stakeholders.

The following is a list of IEPDs developed, and in the process of being developed, for the domain community to leverage:

Completed IEPDs

  • Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) e-Notice
  • Model Tribal System (MTS)
  • National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD)
  • National Electronic Interstate Compact Enterprise (NEICE)
  • North Carolina Families Accessing Services through Technology (NC FAST)
  • Public Assistance Reporting Information System (PARIS)

In-Process IEPDs

  •  ​​Child Welfare Data Exchange between the Child and Family Service Review (CFSR) Online Monitoring System (OMS) and Title IV-E Agency Case Management Systems
  • Child Support/Child Welfare Data Sharing

For details, please visit the domain’s IEPD Repository.

Human Services Domain Communities of Interest

Participants representing federal, state, local, and tribal HS communities of interest (COI) provide the breadth and depth of knowledge and opportunities to develop seamless data exchanges. While the number of members is still growing, key participants include:

Representatives from the following federal agencies

  • ACF Office of the Assistant Secretary (OAS)
  • ACF OAS / Office on Trafficking in Persons (OTIP)
  • ACF Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE)
  • ACF Children’s Bureau (CB)
  • ACF Office of Community Services (OCS)
  • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)
  • Food and Nutritional Services/Supplemental Nutrition Assistance program (FNS/SNAP)

Representatives from the following states

  • California (San Diego County)
  • Illinois
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • Virginia
  • Washington

Representatives from the following organizations

  • American Public Human Services Association (APHSA)
  • National Center for State Courts (NCSC)

The participants meet online monthly in the HS domain workgroup to collaborate for the advancement of the domain.

Join Us!

Interested in data sharing and interoperability but unsure where to begin? Join a team of like-minded professionals across human services and beyond who are tackling this challenge head on! We would like to collaborate with federal, state, local, and tribal representatives and implementers who are developing new HS data exchanges to ensure that we are meeting the needs of all stakeholders. NIEM provides a strong platform for us to harmonize our efforts; however, its success relies on community participation and leadership. By using NIEM and the Human Services domain data model, we can help ourselves and the community improve and expand data sharing, which we know will ultimately improve our service outcomes for the people we serve.​


For additional information or to participate, contact the NIEM HS domain program office at:

Resources ​ ​

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