The 2012 Washington State Legislature directed DSHS to create a two-track response system for accepted reports to Child Protective Services, where high risk families receive an investigation (formerly the only response) and low- to moderate-risk families receive Family Assessment Response (FAR). FAR provides a comprehensive assessment of child safety, risk of subsequent child abuse or neglect, and family strengths and needs. The assessment determines the need for services to address child safety and the risk of subsequent maltreatment but does not include a determination as to whether child abuse or neglect occurred.
WSIPP was directed to evaluate the effect of FAR on child safety measures, out-of-home placement rates, re-referral rates, and caseload sizes and demographics. In this final report, we evaluate the outcomes directed in the law, comparing outcomes for families who received FAR to those families who were eligible for FAR but who were served in offices where FAR had not yet been implemented. We also estimate the proportion of the caseload assigned to FAR after full implementation and the effect of FAR on receipt of paid in-home services.
A preliminary report was published in December 2014.