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An Evaluation of Resource and Assessment Centers (RAC): Outcome Evaluation

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Devin Bales, Marna Miller - December 2020

The Resource and Assessment Center (RAC) program provides short-term emergency crisis care to youth entering foster care in Washington. RAC facilities offer an initial placement option of up to 72 hours for youth ages birth through 12 years old. Two facilities, in Whatcom and Snohomish counties, respectively, operated RACs from 2015-2020 and have served over 1,100 youth.

The 2019 Washington State Legislature directed WSIPP to evaluate the RAC program. Our results indicate that compared to similar youth, those who were first placed in a RAC are more likely to spend their RAC and subsequent placements with a sibling. RAC youth are also more likely to be placed with a relative in their subsequent placement. RAC placement does not have long term effects on the number of placement events or the length of time youth spend in foster care.

Results also suggest that foster parents who received youth from a RAC were more likely than other similar foster parents who only received youth from other settings to retain their license for various follow-up periods.

Report ID: 20-12-3901
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