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The 2017 Washington State Legislature directed WSIPP to evaluate a new short-term foster care support program. The program allows licensed foster parents to access temporary and flexible short-term support services provided by organizations in their local communities, with the overall goal of supporting the parental efforts of the foster parents. The short-term support does not include overnight assistance. This new program is differentiated from existing services by being potentially available to any licensed foster parent, whereas existing case aide services have been almost exclusively available to foster parents for specific children with high-level needs. In this interim report, we briefly describe initial program implementation in two community-based non-profit organizations and outline WSIPP’s broad evaluation approach and potential data limitations. A final report is due to the legislature by June 30, 2020. The outcome 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.
The 2018 Washington State Legislature directed WSIPP to conduct a study on student loan refinancing, with particular attention to authorities that refinance student loans from the proceeds of tax-exempt bonds. In this report, we summarize federal guidance on using tax-exempt bonds for state loan refinancing programs and describe the structure and characteristics of the 15 student loan refinance programs run by other states, including their requirements for borrowers. We also estimate the potential savings to Washington undergraduate and graduate borrowers from refinancing their loans through a hypothetical state program. Finally, we consider the foregone value of federal loan repayment and forgiveness options to borrowers who choose to refinance using such a program.
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 final study, due December 1, 2019, will include estimates of any savings to state and local governments and compare outcomes for youth who have received extended foster care services with youth who aged out of foster care when they turned 18. To the extent possible, the study will also include a comparison of extended foster care programs in other states and a review of the available research on those programs. In this preliminary report, we provide background on the evolution of the program in Washington State and describe research on similar programs in other states. We then outline the approaches we will use to: (1) evaluate Washington’s extended foster care program and (2) estimate the benefits and costs of the program.
Washington State provides funding to school districts to help underachieving students through the Learning Assistance Program (LAP). The 2013 Washington State Legislature directed the Washington State Institute for Public Policy to prepare an inventory of evidence-based and research-based effective practices, activities, and programs for use by school districts in LAP and to update the inventory each two years thereafter. This report describes the fourth update to the inventory of evidence-based and research-based practices for use in LAP. Find previous versions of the LAP inventory with the following links: third update, second update, first update, and initial report.
In 2015, WSIPP's Board of Directors authorized a collaborative project with the MacArthur Foundation and Pew Charitable Trusts to extend WSIPP’s benefit-cost analysis to higher education programs. WSIPP produced a first report of a review of the evidence and benefit-cost analysis for ten postsecondary interventions in December 2016. This report updates those previous findings and presents new findings for an additional ten programs in four topic areas: 1) financial interventions, 2) student support interventions, 3) brief information interventions, and 4) concurrent enrollment interventions.
WSIPP's Board of Directors authorized WSIPP to work on a joint project with the MacArthur Foundation and the Pew Charitable Trusts to extend WSIPP’s benefit-cost analysis to certain health care topics. In this report, we present findings on interventions to promote health and increase health care efficiency for older adults, including: 1) interventions to prevent falls and 2) interventions for older adults with dementia and/or their caregivers. We describe whether the interventions achieve effects on desired outcomes, and, if so, the magnitudes of those effects. We present benefit-cost results for these interventions, when possible.
The 2013 Washington State Legislature passed a bill to facilitate the use of evidence-based programs in adult corrections. The legislature directed WSIPP to define the terms “evidence-based” and “research-based” and create an inventory of adult corrections programs classified as evidence-based or research-based. WSIPP produced the first inventory of evidence-based and research-based programs for adult corrections in 2013. This is an update to the original inventory, classifying an additional 30 programs, for a total of 57 programs.
Washington State has compulsory school attendance laws that require school-aged children to attend school and mandate how schools and courts must respond to unexcused absences. These laws establish a series of escalating interventions that can ultimately result in truant students facing legal consequences, including detention. The 2016 and 2017 Washington State Legislature modified these requirements. Some significant changes included increasing the information provided to parents about truancy, requiring schools to use formal assessments of students and data-informed steps to address truant behavior, mandating the use of community truancy boards (CTBs), and requiring courts to try alternative methods before ordering detention. The Washington State Legislature directed WSIPP to evaluate the effectiveness of the 2016 act. In this initial report, we outline the evaluation plan and identify potential data gaps. The final report, due January 2021, will describe changes in CTBs, truancy petition characteristics and outcomes, and student academic outcomes using a combination of descriptive and quasi-experimental methods. If possible, the analysis will include a meta-analysis evaluating the effectiveness of truancy and drop-out prevention programs.
The 2016 Washington State Legislature directed WSIPP to evaluate the “impact and cost effectiveness” of the hub home model. The hub home model (HHM), developed by The Mockingbird Society, is an approach to licensed foster care delivery wherein an experienced foster “hub home” provides activities, support, and respite care for a group or “constellation” of nearby foster homes. The Mockingbird Society has operated Washington’s only hub home program, frequently referred to as the Mockingbird Family Model, on a small scale since 2004. WSIPP was directed to evaluate effects of the HHM on children’s safety, placement stability, and permanency, and—if possible—to address sibling connections and caregiver retention. In this final report, we evaluate these outcomes directed by law, as well as an additional outcome: runaways from care. An interim report was published in January 2017. In January 2018, we updated our findings with a supplemental report on benefit-cost results, incorporating effects on a broader range of outcomes, such as high school completion, arrests, and behavioral health.
The 2017 Washington State Legislature directed WSIPP to examine variation in the use of paraeducators across Washington, how paraeducators impact students’ academic outcomes, and what the national research says about the effectiveness of paraeducators in improving student outcomes. We focused our analyses on paraeducators in Washington who perform teaching activities, whom we refer to as instructional aides. Using Washington State data, we used a fixed effects regression model to examine which factors, if any, are associated with the use of instructional aides and whether instructional aides are associated with school-level student outcomes.