Research and Data Analysis

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Transition to Adulthood: Washington State Foster Youth at Age 17Transition to Adulthood: Washington State Foster Youth at Age 17

This study examined self-reported risk and protective factors and life experiences of the second National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD) cohort of 17 year old youth in foster care in Washington State surveyed in 2014-2015. Of 418 eligible youth, 90 percent (378 youth) participated in the survey. The report focuses on the role of close, trusting relationships with adults, and particularly, foster parents in bettering the lives of the foster youth. We found that the youth whose foster parents were their closest most trusted adults (100 youth or 26 percent of all survey participants) were significantly more likely to attend school or have a job, live in stable housing, receive behavioral health treatment, report no barriers to education and rely on more help from their closest adult compared to youth whose closest adults were other people (245 youth or 65 percent of all survey participants). When compared to their peers surveyed in 2011-2012, the youth reported similar or better life experiences: they were significantly more likely to attend regular high school, live in stable housing, and count on more help from the closest adult. They rated DSHS efforts to strengthen their relationship with their closest adults very positively. 

 

Characteristics of Housing Assistance Recipients in Metropolitan Seattle-Tacoma: 2013Characteristics of Housing Assistance Recipients in Metropolitan Seattle-Tacoma: 2013

This study updates a previous report on clients served by the King County, Seattle and Tacoma Housing Authorities in 2011. Using 2013 US Department of Housing and Urban Development Public and Indian Housing Information Center data, this study examines the characteristics and service use of clients jointly served by the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) and local Public Housing Authorities (PHAs). In general, similar patterns were observed in both reports. Compared to DSHS clients without housing assistance, the King County, Seattle and Tacoma PHAs were more likely to serve clients using DSHS economic services, suffering from behavioral health issues or chronic health conditions, and who were less likely to be employed. 

 

Improving Employment Outcomes for People with Mental Health Disorders in Washington StateImproving Employment Outcomes for People with Mental Health Disorders in Washington State

This study explored the relationship between the receipt of supported employment services and outcomes such as employment rates, use of mental health services, arrests, and other indicators of social and health stability among clients receiving publicly funded mental health services in Washington State. The results indicated significant relationships with several important outcomes for clients who received any supported employment services during a three-year intake window from 2006 through 2008. Compared to clients who shared similar baseline characteristics but did not receive the services, clients who received supported employment services experienced significant increases in employment rates and non-crisis community-based outpatient mental health service use, and decreases in total arrest rates. The more supported employment services received in the outcome period, the larger the effect for each of these outcomes. 

 

2015 DSHS Employee SurveyOutcomes 2015 DSHS Employee Survey

The 2015 Employee Survey revealed widespread increases in employee engagement at DSHS since our last major survey in 2013. Positive responses increased for the majority of survey questions, and DSHS exceeded the statewide target for Governor Jay Inslee’s “Employer of Choice” goal. There were improvements in all of the areas of focus specified by former Secretary Kevin Quigley for 2013 – 2015. The survey was completed by 13,664 employees in 2015 (81%), the highest level of participation since the survey began in 2002. The survey results also show opportunities for positive change, and in some cases, important challenges. Many of these opportunities and challenges are specific to Administrations and major units, and are the subject of action planning at every level of the organization. 

 

2015 Foster Parent Survey: DSHS Foster Parents Speak2015 Foster Parent Survey: DSHS Foster Parents Speak

This report describes the results of the fourth annual DSHS Foster Parent Survey. Between September 2014 and August 2015, 1,358 foster parents were surveyed about their satisfaction with the support and training provided by Children’s Administration and private agencies. The majority of foster parents continue to express satisfaction with the support and training they receive, and with the social workers assigned to their cases. However, there were statistically significant declines from the previous year in positive responses concerning the overall quality of support, availability of help, and social workers listening to foster parent input. Some indicated that they would like better access to resources, faster and more flexible processes, greater inclusion in matters concerning foster children, and more complete and timely information about their foster children’s cases. Some foster parents also suggested a need for more convenient training locations and schedules, more interaction with experienced foster parents in training, more on-line training, and more choice about which trainings they take. 

Outcomes for Persons Discharged from Community Psychiatric HospitalsOutcomes for Persons Discharged from Community Psychiatric Hospitals

This report examines the experiences of persons discharged from community psychiatric hospitals and evaluation and treatment facilities in Washington State, to help identify strategies that might improve post-discharge patient outcomes. Analyses focus on homelessness, arrests, mortality and psychiatric hospital readmission following discharge. 

 

Outcomes for WorkFirst Clients Taking Part in Unpaid Job Experience ProgramsOutcomes for WorkFirst Clients Taking Part in Unpaid Job Experience Programs

This report evaluates the impact of participating in the Department of Commerce’s two unpaid work preparation programs—Community Works and Career Development—using a statistically matched comparison design. We find that, when compared to similar WorkFirst clients in other work preparation activities, unpaid job participants in both programs were more likely to be employed at the end of the follow up period though their earnings were not significantly higher. Unpaid jobs participants also spent more time on TANF during the follow-up period, but were less likely to be sanctioned. 

 

Bringing Recovery into Diverse Groups through Engagement and SupportBringing Recovery into Diverse Groups through Engagement and Support

This report describes baseline characteristics for individuals enrolled in the Bringing Recovery into Diverse Groups through Engagement and Support (BRIDGES) program during the first year of program services (April 2014 through March 2015). BRIDGES provides evidence-based Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) and Supported Employment (SE) to chronically homeless adults with substance use or co-occurring disorders in Kitsap, Snohomish and Spokane counties. BRIDGES is funded by a three year grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). During the first year, 119 individuals enrolled in the program. We found that nearly all (94 percent) of participants entered the program from homeless or unstable living situations and faced numerous barriers to housing, including mental illness, substance abuse, chronic illness, unemployment and involvement with the criminal justice system. A final evaluation at the end of the three year grant period will examine the impact of BRIDGES on participant housing, employment and arrest outcomes. 

 

Behavioral Health Needs of Jail Inmates in Washington StateBehavioral Health Needs of Jail Inmates in Washington State

This report examines the characteristics of 123,240 individuals booked into local Washington State jails in 2013 who were recent or former clients of the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) or the Health Care Authority (HCA). We find substantial overlap between the DSHS client population and those entering jail. The majority (86 percent) of individuals booked into jail in 2013 were recent or former DSHS/HCA clients. Medicaid recipients entering jail have high rates of behavioral health treatment needs. Based on administrative data, over half (58 percent) of Medicaid enrollees booked into jail have mental health treatments needs, 61 percent have substance use disorder treatment needs and 41 percent have indicators of co-occurring behavioral health disorders. 

 

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