DATA SHARING PROTOCOL This Data Sharing Protocol

This Data Sharing Protocol encompasses all data collected by Emergency Shelter,
Time-Limited Residence, and Supportive Housing programs (herein called “Programs”)
though HIFIS. Documents referenced in this protocol are available on the Region’s
website (see “Documents for Services Provider” at
lessness-to-Housing-Stability.asp) or through Regional staff.
Your Responsibilities:
1. The process of collecting and entering information into HIFIS must follow the
“Waterloo Region Homeless Individuals and Families Information System (HIFIS)
Data Entry and Administrator Guide” (Data Guide).
2. The “HIFIS Data Collection and Consent Form” must be completed for every person
who intakes into the program. There are two versions of this form:
 Regular Form: For participants who are a "family head (16+)", an "adult
partner of a family head (16+)", a "single child (12-15)", a "single youth (1624)", or an "single adult (25+)"
 Dependent Form: For dependents only, of any age.
3. Data must be checked for integrity and completeness on a monthly basis. This
should be done before exports are sent to the Region. These checks must follow the
procedures outlined in the “2015/16 Waterloo Region Data Integrity Guide”.
4. Exports of non-identifying data and internal HIFIS training information (the number of
hours and number of people trained) must be sent within the first week of the month
to the Social Planning Associate at the Region of Waterloo who is the HIFIS lead for
each program area (as identified in the “2015/16 Waterloo Region HIFIS Working
Group Terms of Reference”).
5. Local Data Summary Reports must be submitted according to the following
 Calendar Year (January 1 to December 31): Due January 15, 2016
 Fiscal Year (April 1 – March 31): Due April 15, 2016
Required Local Data Summary Reports include (select “To Date of Reporting
Period” for all reports):
 Age Report
 Complex Issues Report
 Culture Report
 Disability Report
 Family Roles Report
 Gender Report
 Intakes Report
 Length of Stay by Residents Report
 Length of Stay by Time Periods Report
 Occupancy Report
6. Additional data, reports, and participation in evaluation activities may be requested
from time to time. Programs are required to fulfill these requests.
7. A representative from the Program will attend and participate in all HIFIS Working
Group meetings and training. This representative will follow any requirements
outlined in the “2015/16 Waterloo Region HIFIS Working Group Terms of
8. Programs will ensure that participants understand how HIFIS data is collected,
shared, and used by having them sign the consent section at the bottom of the
“HIFIS Data Collection and Consent Form”. The “HIFIS Data Collection and Consent
Form” with signature will be kept on the participant’s paper file for a minimum of
three years after discharge.
Our Responsibilities:
1. The Region is the Community Coordinator for HIFIS. As such, the Region is
responsible for creating and implementing an annual work plan to:
 Expand use of HIFIS to other programs within the housing stability system.
 Provide training and technical support.
 Support the use of HIFIS 3.8 and any subsequent versions.
 Facilitate HIFIS Working Group meetings.
 Coordinate the collection of community data.
 Collect and analyze baseline data for homelessness and housing stability in
our community, to support indicator development.
 Report outcomes to the community, the HPS Community Advisory Board, the
housing stability system, and funders.
 Support research about emerging and promising practices.
 Use data to inform decision-making regarding program directions and funds.
 Expand the use of HIFIS modules to assist service providers with providing
 Coordinate and expand the use of HIFIS across the housing stability system
to assist with sharing and coordination of support information.
 Encourage information sharing and partnership building within the housing
stability system.
 Leverage HIFIS as a tool to better connect with other systems in the
 Share data, learnings, and promising practices with other communities.
2. The Region will ensure confidentiality of information. The Region will not share any
identifying data without consent from the participant.
3. The Region will use data collected at the program level to inform policy and
programming decisions.
4. The Region will act as a knowledge translator by developing reports and tools to
disseminate relevant housing stability data and trends to the wider community.
5. The Region will develop reports to access data that meets local data needs and
assists Programs with operations and planning.
Programs must adhere to legislation contained under Personal Information Protection
and Electronic Documents Act and Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of
Privacy Act. Any information shared about participants will be in aggregate form in
almost all cases. Exceptions include, billing for motels under the “Emergency Shelter
Referral Protocol” or when conferencing about a specific individual or family, for
example. Residents will give their express and informed consent in writing to share
information. Programs and the Region will ensure participant information is stored