DCF launches first-of-its-kind Baker Act data dashboard

Posted 3/22/24

Department of Children and Families (Department) Secretary Shevaun Harris...

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DCF launches first-of-its-kind Baker Act data dashboard


TALLAHASSEE — On March 21, the Department of Children and Families (Department) Secretary Shevaun Harris announced a first-of-its-kind Baker Act data dashboard as a result of a systemwide reporting modernization initiative. The Baker Act is a Florida law that focuses on crisis services for individuals with mental illness, much like an emergency department is for individuals experiencing a medical emergency. This publicly available dashboard will increase access and transparency among Baker Act-receiving facilities, identify regional and geographic trends including areas with high utilization, repeat admissions, settings where and reasons why initiations occur, and allow for timely updates on Baker Act initiation and demographic breakdowns, including by age. Therefore, researchers and policy makers will be able to have greater insights into the data.

This tool will allow Florida to better serve mental health needs in the state with current information and trends. The dashboard is updated weekly, replacing a lagging annual report process where data is usually years behind.

“Florida is on the forefront of innovation, and improving efficiency and transparency are key to supporting the Department’s mission to improve outcomes and support strong and resilient families,” said Secretary Harris. “With the most comprehensive, publicly available dashboard in the nation, this improved access to information will help gain insight into evaluations for emergency mental health stabilization, empowering the Department and mental health providers to be more proactive and versatile in our approach to providing preventive mental health services.”

“Transparency of data is critically important for Florida’s system of care,” said Melanie Brown-Woofter, Florida Behavioral Health Association (FBHA) President and CEO. “This vital information will help our state agencies, community providers, partners and stakeholders make informed decisions and keep pace with the increased demand we are experiencing. On behalf of Florida’s community mental health and substance use providers, FBHA thanks the Department for its innovative leadership as we work together to support the behavioral health system of care, and Florida’s families and communities.”

Last year, providers began using the Department’s Baker Act Data Collection System to expedite reporting and increase visibility on mental health crisis needs allowing the Department to better analyze system challenges, identify trends, and improve outcomes.

The dashboard introduces several key features, including:
• an enhanced user-friendly interface,
• mobile friendly access,

• data download capability, and
• state-of-the-art security measures to protect sensitive information.

These enhancements allow partners and stakeholders to easily access quality data efficiently to assist in making informed community-level decisions regarding crisis care.

To access the Baker Act Data Reporting Dashboard and learn about the Baker Act, visit myflfamilies.com/crisis-services/baker-act

DCF, baker act