RHY Program HMIS Manual

This Manual is intended to serve as a reference tool to provide basic guidance on data collection for Runaway and Homeless Youth (RHY) Program service providers who are using the integrated Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) data system to capture youth data. The integrated RHY – HMIS data collection system replaces the former Runaway and Homeless Youth Management Information System (RHYMIS) desktop system and is used as the primary means for recording and reporting information about the needs, critical issues, and support received by the runaway and homeless youth who are served by the program. The Street Outreach, Basic Center, and Transitional Living Programs are authorized to capture and report data to the Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF) by the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (P.L. 108-96) which was reauthorized in 2008. The Act governs the basic requirements for this data collection, stating that grantees: 

shall keep adequate statistical records profiling the youth and family members whom it serves (including youth who are not referred to out-of-home shelter services), except that records maintained on individual runaway and homeless youth shall not be disclosed without the consent of the individual youth and parent or legal guardian to anyone other than another agency compiling statistical records or a government agency involved in the disposition of criminal charges against an individual runaway and homeless youth, and reports or other documents based on such statistical records shall not disclose the identity of individual runaway and homeless youth. 42 U.S.C. § 5712(b)(7). 

Data are collected from RHY grantees on a semi-annual basis and are categorized in two parts: Universal Data Elements (UDE) and RHY Program Specific Data Elements (PSDE). 

Universal Data Elements are data required to be collected by all federal programs participating in HMIS, regardless of funding agency. The UDEs serve as the basis for producing unduplicated estimates of the number of people experiencing homelessness, accessing services from homeless services providers, basic demographic characteristics of people experiencing homeless, and patterns of service use, including information on shelter stays and homelessness over time. 

RHY Program Specific Elements allow us to continue to capture critical information about the employment and educational status, critical issues, services and outcomes that are unique to the unaccompanied youth who RHY programs have served for over 40 years.

  1. Revision History 
  2. About This Manual
  3. Additional Resources
  4. RHY Grantee Requirements and Expectations Regarding HMIS Data Collection
    1. Using the CoC-Designated HMIS Software Package 
    2. Rules on Confidentiality of Data Collection and Sharing
      1. No Consent Required for Data Collection 
      2. Consent Needed for Data Sharing
      3. HMIS System Administration Application
  5. Setting Up RHY Projects in HMIS – Instructions for HMIS Administrators
    1. Identify Projects for Inclusion in HMIS
    2. Establish the HMIS Project Type
    3. Set up the Project Descriptor Data Elements (PDDE)
      1. Organizational Identifier (2.1)
      2. Project Identifier (2.2)
      3. Continuum of Care (CoC) Code (2.3)
      4. Project Type (2.4)
      5. Method for Tracking Emergency Shelter Utilization (2.5)
      6. Federal Partner Funding Sources (2.6)
      7. Bed and Unit Inventory Information (2.7)
      8. Additional Information (2.8)
  6. Data Collection
    1. Definitions of “Runaway” and “Homeless” Under the RHY Act
      1. Understanding Households for RHY
    2. Universal Data Elements (UDE)
      1. Basic Client Information:
      2. Additional Universal Data Elements:
  7. RHY Program Specific Data Elements
    1. 4.2 Income and Sources
    2. 4.3 Non-Cash Benefits
    3. 4.4 Health Insurance
    4. 4.5, 4.6, 4.7, 4.9, 4.10 Special Needs
    5. 4.12 Contact
      1. 4.13 Date of Engagement
    6. R1 Referral Sources
    7. R2 RHY - BCP Status
    8. R3 Sexual Orientation
    9. R4 Last Grade Completed
    10. R5 School Status
    11. R6 Employment Status
    12. R7, R8, R9 Health Status
    13. R10 Pregnancy Status
    14. R11 Formerly a Ward of Child Welfare/Foster Care Agency
    15. R12 Formerly a Ward of Juvenile Justice System
    16. R13 Family Critical Issues
    17. R14 RHY Service Connections
    18. R15 Commercial Sexual Exploitation/Sex Trafficking
    19. R16 Labor Exploitation/Trafficking 
    20. R17 Project Completion Status
    21. R18 Counseling
    22. R19 Safe and Appropriate Exit
    23. R20 Aftercare Plans
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