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Washington State Institute for Public Policy

Wilderness Therapy

The 2021 Washington State Legislature directed WSIPP to conduct a research review of wilderness therapy programs. In its review, WSIPP must consider programs that offer behavioral health treatment services, prevention services, and examine whether programs are cost beneficial. WSIPP must also assess interest in these types of programs among, but not limited to, Washington State Tribes and prevention coalitions. WSIPP will partner with a content expert to complete its review.

The legislature asked for a report on the research review and cost-benefit analyses by December 31, 2021. In June 2021, the WSIPP Board of Directors voted to extend this study deadline to June 30, 2022. The legislature asked for a final report focusing on stakeholder interests by June 30, 2022. In June 2021, the WSIPP Board of Directors voted to extend the final study deadline to December 1, 2022.

Julia Cramer, (360) 664-9073 View Legislation

Update to Inventory of Evidence-Based, Research-Based, and Promising Practices for Prevention and Intervention Services for Children

The 2012 Legislature passed E2SHB 2536 with the intention that “prevention and intervention services delivered to children and juveniles in the areas of mental health, child welfare, and juvenile justice be primarily evidence-based and research-based, and it is anticipated that such services will be provided in a manner that is culturally competent.”

The bill directs the Washington State Institute for Public Policy (WSIPP) and the University of Washington Evidence-Based Practice Institute (UW) to publish descriptive definitions and prepare an inventory of evidence-based, research-based, and promising practices and services, and to periodically updates the inventory as more practices are identified. The initial inventory was published in 2012, and in 2020 WSIPP published the tenth update.

For the 2021 update, WSIPP will review the inventory’s role in evidence-based policymaking in Washington State. Specifically, through stakeholder interviews across service areas, we will gather feedback about both current inventory use and potential revisions for future iterations of WSIPP’s inventory work.

This project goes through September 2021.

Rebecca Goodvin, (360) 664-9077 View Legislation

Short-Term Foster Care Support Services

The 2017 Washington State Legislature directed WSIPP to complete an evaluation of 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 was released in November 2018. The final report was originally due to the legislature by June 30, 2020. In 2019, the legislature passed SSB 5955 which extended the due date of the final report to June 30, 2021. In June 2020, the WSIPP Board of Directors voted to extend the study deadline to June 30, 2023.
Rebecca Goodvin, (360) 664-9077 View Legislation