Washington State Institute for Public Policy

WSIPP is assigned a variety of projects at the directive of the Washington State legislature or its Board of Directors.
Policy Areas
Featured Reports
Current Projects
Child Welfare Services and Performance-Based Contracts
Child welfare services

The 2009 Washington State Legislature established the Child Welfare Transformation Design Committee to advise the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) in changing practices in child welfare. Legislation directed DSHS to set up two demonstration sites to compare child welfare case management by private “supervising agencies” with child welfare case management by DSHS employees.

The 2016 Legislature directed these demonstration sites to be implemented by December, 2019. WSIPP was assigned to report on the “measurable effects achieved by the supervising agencies and compare those measurable effects with the existing services offered by the state” by April 1, 2018. Under the current implementation plan, WSIPP will be able to report on measureable effects by 2023.

Performance-based contracts

The 2012 Legislature directed the DSHS to enter into performance-based contracts by December 2013, with one or more network administrators for family support and related services. WSIPP must report to the Governor and the legislature regarding the conversion of existing contracts to performance-based contracts.

An initial report was released in December 2014. The 2016 Legislature delayed the final report, initially due June 30, 2016, until April 1, 2023.
Marna Miller, (360) 664-9086 View Legislation
Family Assessment Response
The 2012 Washington State Legislature directed DSHS to employ one of two responses for reports that are screened in and accepted for response: an investigation (currently the only option) or a family assessment. A family assessment is defined as a comprehensive assessment of child safety, risk of subsequent child abuse or neglect, and family strengths and needs that is applied to a child abuse or neglect report. The assessment does not include a determination as to whether child abuse or neglect occurred but does determine the need for services to address the safety of the child and the risk of subsequent maltreatment.

WSIPP will conduct an evaluation of the implementation of the family assessment response. The evaluation will include child safety measures, out-of-home placement rates, re-referral rates, and caseload sizes and demographics. A preliminary report was published in December 1, 2014. The final report is due by December 1, 2016.

*The report has been postponed due to a delay in receiving administrative data required for this evaluation. WSIPP will complete the report no later than December 1, 2017.*
Marna Miller, (360) 664-9086 View Legislation
Extended Foster Care Services
The 2017 Washington State Legislature directed WSIPP to complete a study measuring the outcomes for youth who have received extended foster care services pursuant to RCW 74.13.031(11). The study will include measurements of any savings to state and local governments and compare outcomes for youth who have received extended foster care services pursuant to RCW 74.13.031(11) with youth who aged out of foster care when they turned 18. To the extent possible, the study will also include a comparison of other state extended foster care programs and a review of studies that have been completed that measure the outcomes of those programs.

A preliminary report is due to the legislature by December 1, 2018. A final report is due to the legislature by December 1, 2019.
Catherine Nicolai, (360) 664-9087 View Legislation
Short-Term Foster Care Support Services
The 2017 Washington State Legislature directed WSIPP to complete an evaluation on short-term foster care support. The legislation describes short-term support as case aides who provide temporary assistance to foster parents as needed with the overall goal of supporting the parental efforts of the foster parents. The short-term support does not include overnight assistance. The evaluation will, to the maximum extent possible, assess the impact of the short-term support services on the retention of foster homes and the number of placements a foster child receives while in out-of-home care as well as the return on investment to the state.

A preliminary report is due to the legislature by December 1, 2018. A final report is due to the legislature by June 30, 2020.
Catherine Nicolai, (360) 664-9087 View Legislation
Hub Home Model for Foster Care Delivery
The 2016 Washington State Legislature directed WSIPP to evaluate the impact and cost effectiveness of the Mockingbird Family Hub Home Model for foster care delivery. In the Hub Home Model, families live nearby a Hub Home which offers support to the families.

WSIPP’s evaluation must include the impact the Hub Home Model has on child safety, permanency, placement stability, and if possible, sibling connections, culturally relevant care, and caregiver retention. Additionally, WSIPP will report on long-term cost savings compared to traditional foster care.

An interim report was released in January 2017. WSIPP's Board of Director's approved an extension on the report; the final report is due December 31, 2017.
Marna Miller, (360) 664-9086 View Legislation
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