Research and Data Analysis

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Access to RecoveryAccess to Recovery

This report examines the benefits of Washington State’s Access to Recovery (ATR) program, which provides recovery support services to adults in recovery from substance use disorders. Changes in outcomes between a one-year baseline and one-year outcome period were examined for ATR recipients relative to a statistically matched comparison group. The analysis examines differences in substance use disorder treatment rates, employment outcomes, arrests and hospital utilization. We found that, relative to the matched comparison group, ATR clients experienced greater increases in outpatient SUD treatment and employment, and greater decreases in incidence of arrests. These outcomes were found both for clients who had received SUD treatment in the baseline year and those who had not. Statistically significant declines were also found in rates of hospitalization from Emergency Department admissions and for other hospitalizations, relative to changes experienced by the matched comparison group. No significant effects on outpatient Emergency Department visits were found.


Permanent Options for Recovery-Centered Housing (PORCH)Permanent Options for Recovery-Centered Housing (PORCH)

The Permanent Options for Recovery-Centered Housing (PORCH) program aims to increase housing stability and encourage independent living among adults with a history of mental illness and housing instability or homelessness. Regional support networks, mental health and housing providers located in two counties (Pierce and Chelan/Douglas) participated in the SAMHSA funded project. In this third report about the PORCH program, we provide an update on the population served and examine preliminary outcomes on housing stability, psychiatric hospitalizations, emergency department use, arrests and employment. We found that most participants (89 percent) were stably housed after one year of PORCH services. Preliminary data indicate PORCH may reduce emergency department visits and community psychiatric hospitalizations. A final evaluation at the end of the five-year grant period will assess the extent to which outcomes for PORCH participants may differ from those of other DSHS clients with similar housing needs and behavioral health problems.


TANF Caseload DeclineTANF Caseload Decline

This report describes key outcomes for parents and children who left TANF before and after recent program changes, including changes to the criteria for time limit extensions. WorkFirst cases make up a decreasing share of the TANF caseload relative to child-only cases, as a greater proportion of WorkFirst families leave and do not return. Relative to other groups of WorkFirst leavers, those who left due to time limits had high rates of baseline health risk but were less likely to transition to disability-related medical coverage. Time limited leavers and those who took longer to leave the caseload also faced greater barriers to work but remained connected to supports and services.


2014 Foster Parent Survey: DSHS Foster Parents Speak2014 Foster Parent Survey: DSHS Foster Parents Speak

This report describes the results of the third annual DSHS Foster Parent Survey. Between September 2013 and August 2014, 1,351 foster parents were surveyed about their satisfaction with the support and training provided by Children’s Administration and private agencies. Most foster parents expressed satisfaction with the support and training they receive, and with their social workers. Some would like better access to resources, faster and more flexible processes, and more inclusion and information concerning the cases of their foster children. Some would like more convenient training locations and schedules, interaction with experienced foster parents, online training, and choices for their training.


Youth at Risk of HomelessnessYouth at Risk of Homelessness

This report identifies key risk and protective factors associated with homelessness in the year after aging out of foster care. Approximately one-quarter of the 1,213 youth statewide who aged out of foster care in SFY 2011 or 2012 experienced homelessness in the following year. Youth who had experienced housing instability, multiple school changes, or more than one foster care placement were at increased risk of homelessness. Cross-over youth—those involved with both the foster care and juvenile justice system—were also at increased risk. In terms of protective factors, youth who had ever been placed with a relative while in foster care and those with relatively high grade point averages were at decreased risk of homelessness.


Homeless and Unstably Housed K-12 Students in Washington StateHomeless and Unstably Housed K-12 Students in Washington State

This report leverages integrated administrative data to describe the characteristics and needs of homeless and unstably housed K-12 students relative to students in more stable housing situations. Focusing on children and youth who have received services from the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), we provide a comprehensive view of students’ housing status and associated measures of risk and well-being. In AY 2011/12, there were 19,207 students in Washington State who experienced homelessness, narrowly defined. Compared to their peers, homeless students and those staying temporarily with friends or family were at greater risk on a number of measures. Opportunities exist to better connect homeless students and those at risk of homelessness to services that could help them succeed in school and beyond.


Quality Indicators and Outcomes for Persons Discharged from State Psychiatric Hospitals

Quality Indicators and Outcomes for Persons Discharged from State Psychiatric Hospitals

This report examines the experiences of persons discharged from a state psychiatric hospital in Washington State, to help identify interventions that might improve post-discharge client outcomes. We found that state psychiatric hospital readmissions are not uncommon—44 percent of those discharged were readmitted to a state or community psychiatric hospital within 540 days. For State psychiatric hospital episodes, timely post-discharge access to outpatient mental health is not associated with lower psychiatric readmission rates, but does appear to improve other client outcomes. Persons with substance use disorders had significantly higher psychiatric readmission rates, and timely post-discharge engagement in substance use disorder treatment is likely to reduce psychiatric readmission rates.


Managed Medical Care for Persons with Disabilities and Behavioral Health NeedsManaged Medical Care for Persons with Disabilities and Behavioral Health Needs

Reviews the experience of Medicaid enrollees with disabilities during the first year of medical managed care implementation. Compares the experience of disabled persons with mental illness and/or substance use disorders, relative to the experience of disabled persons who do not have identified behavioral health disorders. Quality and outcome metrics that are emerging as performance standards for Medicaid delivery systems are used as the lens for assessing clients’ experience under managed care, relative to the prior experience in fee-for-service coverage.


Drug Court and Recovery Support ServicesDrug Court and Recovery Support Services

The Washington Court and Recovery Enhancement System (WA-CARES) project addresses the need for improved, cross-system coordination for drug courts and provides recovery support services (RSS) for high-risk clients who access substance use disorder treatment through the drug court system. In this second report about the WA-CARES program, we examine the added impact of RSS on key outcomes, including substance use disorder treatment, employment, arrest and incarceration.


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