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Washington State Children and Youth Services Inventory: Investigating Use by State Agencies in Policy and Decision Making

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Rebecca Goodvin, Marna Miller - September 2021

To increase the use of evidence-based practices in prevention and interventions services for children and youth, the 2012 Washington State Legislature (E2SHB 2536) directed the creation of an inventory of evidence-based, research-based, and promising practices in child welfare, juvenile rehabilitation, and mental health (the children’s services inventory). The children’s services inventory has been published annually since 2012 with updated evidence reviews and with reviews of new programs to expand the inventory.

In 2021, DBHR commissioned WSIPP to study the inventory’s role in evidence-based practice (EBP) in Washington State. We reviewed the literature and conducted stakeholder interviews across service areas to gather feedback. In this report, we describe the children’s services inventory and summarize stakeholder descriptions of how the inventory is currently being used in child welfare, juvenile rehabilitation, and behavioral health treatment and prevention services. We share stakeholders’ perspectives on what is valued, as well as on how the inventory could be improved. Finally, we highlight stakeholders’ perceived barriers to EBP use in Washington. These barriers have implications for the utility of the inventory, as well as the potential to inform future work on availability and access to evidence-based public services for children and youth. Throughout, we emphasize themes that were present across all service areas and also note ideas unique to one service area.

The most current version of the children's services inventory is the tenth update, published in 2020.

Report ID: E2SHB2536-12
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Devin Bales
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