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Washington State Institute for Public Policy

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Found 626 results

Independent Youth Housing Program for Former Foster Youth: Outcomes for Participants

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Marna Miller - June 2012

The Independent Youth Housing Program (IYHP) was created in 2007 by Washington’s legislature to provide housing assistance and case management for former foster youth ages 18 to 23. In the current biennium, $1,800,000 is budgeted for IYHP.

The legislature directed the Washington State Institute for Public Policy to conduct a study measuring outcomes for youth participating in IYHP. For this study, we identified former foster youth who received IYHP during fiscal year 2010 and looked at their use of state-paid services, and arrests and employment during fiscal year 2011.


Teacher Compensation and Training Policies: Impacts on Student Outcomes

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Annie Pennucci - May 2012

Washington State’s Quality Education Council (QEC) was created by the legislature to make recommendations regarding basic education policy and finance. The legislature also directed the Washington State Institute for Public Policy (Institute) to provide research support to the QEC. This report summarizes six research reviews of the impacts of teacher compensation and training policies on student outcomes (measured by test scores).


Return on Investment: Evidence-Based Options to Improve Statewide Outcomes
April 2012 Update

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Stephanie Lee, Steve Aos, Elizabeth Drake, Annie Pennucci, Marna Miller, Laurie Anderson - April 2012

The 2009 Washington Legislature directed the Institute to “calculate the return on investment to taxpayers from evidence-based prevention and intervention programs and policies.” The Legislature instructed the Institute to produce “a comprehensive list of programs and policies that improve . . . outcomes for children and adults in Washington and result in more cost-efficient use of public resources.” This report summarizes our findings as of April 2012. Readers can download the technical appendix for details about our methods.


Preliminary Report: Did Expanding Eligibility for the Family Caregiver Support Program Reduce the Use of Long-Term Care?

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Jim Mayfield, Marna Miller - February 2012

A family caregiver voluntarily cares for a parent, spouse, partner, or another adult relative or friend. The assistance that family caregivers provide may allow care recipients to remain at home rather than in long-term care. The Family Caregiver Support Program (FCSP) at the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) provides resources and services to unpaid family caregivers in Washington State. In concert with the state’s 13 Area Agencies on Aging, the FCSP provides information and outreach; screening, assessment, consultation, coordination of services, and caregiver support services and resources. The program directly served 5,800 caregivers in fiscal year (FY) 2011. For fiscal year 2012, the legislature increased funding for FCSP to expand in-depth services to more caregivers. The legislature also directed the Washington State Institute for Public Policy to work with DSHS to establish and review outcome measures associated with the FCSP expansion. The goal of the study is to assess whether the expansion of this program delays entry of care recipients into Medicaid-paid long-term care. This report gives a brief description of the program and outlines the approach to evaluation. A final report will be published by August 30, 2012


Transforming Child Welfare in Washington State: Performance-Based Contracting

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Marna Miller, Stephanie Lee - January 2012

The 2009 Washington State Legislature passed Second Substitute House Bill 2106, requiring the Children’s Administration of the Department of Social and Health Services to:

• Convert existing contracts with service providers to performance-based contracts and reduce the overall number of contracts; and

• Set up two demonstration sites to compare child welfare case management by private agencies with child welfare case management by DSHS employees.

The legislation also established the Child Welfare Transformation Design Committee to advise DSHS in this effort. The Washington State Institute for Public Policy (Institute) was directed to report on the transition to performance-based contracts and, in 2015, evaluate the outcomes of case management performed by private agencies compared with that of DSHS employees.

This initial report to the legislature and governor provides a brief description of the legislation and an overview of the progress to date in converting and consolidating CA contracts. The Institute will provide a final report on performance-based contracts in June 2012, and an evaluation report of the demonstration project in April 2015.


"What Works" in Community Supervision: Interim Report

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Elizabeth Drake - December 2011

The Department of Corrections contracted with the Washington State Institute for Public Policy to examine effective community supervision practices of offenders. In this interim report, we provide background information on community supervision as it is delivered in Washington. We also summarize our findings to date on our systematic review of the literature regarding “what works” for community supervision.


How Does Washington State's Learning Assistance Program Impact Student Outcomes? Preliminary Results

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Annie Pennucci, Laurie Anderson - December 2011

Washington’s Learning Assistance Program (LAP) provides funding to school districts for supplemental services for K–12 students at-risk of not meeting state standards in reading and math. The state Quality Education Council (QEC), which makes recommendations to the legislature regarding basic education, requested that the Washington State Institute for Public Policy (Institute) collaborate with the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) on a study that measures the impact of LAP on student achievement.

This study is being conducted in two phases: (1) statistical analysis of the association between LAP funding and student outcomes; and (2) site visits at schools that provide LAP-funded services. This report describes preliminary results from the statistical analysis, focusing on elementary school student test scores. The final report, due September 1, 2012, will examine other grade levels and outcome measures.

This report was revised January, 2012, to include an executive summary.


Assessing the Potential Need for Public Guardianship Services in Washington State

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Mason Burley - December 2011

In 2007, the Washington State Legislature passed Substitute Senate Bill 5320, establishing an Office of Public Guardianship (OPG) within the Administrative Office of the Courts. This new pilot program provides state-paid guardians for legally incapacitated individuals in cases where a volunteer guardian was unavailable and the individual lacks financial resources.

The pilot program started in five counties throughout Washington State, and now provides services in ten counties. While a limited number of incapacitated individuals were served during this pilot period, initial estimates (completed in 2005) found that 4,500 individuals may be eligible for a public guardian in Washington. This estimate, however, was based on research conducted over 20 years ago in different states.

This report uses two different sources – 2009 census data, and a 2011 survey of care providers – to estimate the need for public guardianships services in Washington State. Based on this analysis, we found that between 4,000 and 5,000 individuals may be potentially qualify for a public guardian. The need for these services is also classified according to region and type of care setting.


Public Guardianship in Washington State: Costs and Benefits

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Mason Burley - December 2011

Guardians are court-appointed legal representatives who have the authority to make personal, medical, and financial decisions on behalf of incapacitated individuals. Washington State implemented a pilot program in 2007 to provide public (state-paid) guardianship services for individuals whose family members were unable to serve as a guardian, or the individual did not have financial resources to pay for a guardian.

This evaluation examines program outcomes and cost effectiveness for clients served by public guardians between 2008 and mid-2011. Our analysis over this period found the following:

• Average residential costs per client decreased by $8,131 over the 30-month study period. The average cost for providing a public guardian was $7,907 per client during that time.

• Personal care decreased by an average of 29 hours per month for public guardianship clients, compared with an increase in care hours for similar clients.

• One in five public guardianship clients showed improvements in self-sufficiency during the study.

This report discusses the characteristics and outcomes of public guardianship clients and presents related research on outcomes for public guardianship programs outside Washington State. While we found positive results for public guardianship clients in this evaluation, without a randomly assigned control group (that did not receive services), it is difficult to determine the extent to which public guardians may have contributed to these outcomes.


Educational Advocates for Foster Youth in Washington State: Program Background and Trends

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Mason Burley - December 2011

Since 2006, over 3,500 students in foster care have received assistance from an Educational Advocacy Coordinator. The Educational Advocacy program was started in order to help foster youth maintain enrollment, connect to school services, and progress academically. The program was first implemented in King County in 2001. Treehouse, the non-profit agency that developed the program model, now manages the statewide program under contract with the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS). This includes training advocates, screening referrals, tracking outcomes, and developing instructional material for social workers, caregivers, and educators.

The 2011 Legislature directed the Institute to “examine the child welfare and educational characteristics for foster youth who are served by educational advocates.” During the 2009–10 school year, advocates spent nearly 8,200 hours assisting youth in foster care. This report describes the background and characteristics of those students served by advocates. We also examine placement mobility and school changes as well other educational outcomes (i.e. grade point average and graduation rate). Our final evaluation report in October 2012 will address the overall effectiveness of the program