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Washington State Institute for Public Policy
July 2008
The 2007 Washington Legislature directed the Institute to estimate whether “evidence-based” programs and policies can “reduce the likelihood of children entering and remaining in the child welfare system, including both prevention and intervention programs.” In this report, we study three basic questions: Is there evidence that specific programs “work” to improve these outcomes? If so, do benefits outweigh program costs? Finally, what would be the total net gain to Washington if these evidence-based programs were implemented more widely?

To answer these questions, we systematically reviewed the “what works” literature regarding programs and policies that affect child welfare outcomes. We then estimated the monetary value of the benefits, including factors such as reduced child welfare system expenditures, reduced costs to the victims of child maltreatment, improved educational and labor market performance, and reduced crime-related costs.
Download: Final Report



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Benefit-cost analysis
Children’s services
Criminal justice
Adult corrections

Juvenile justice

Employment/Welfare
General government
Health care
Higher education
Inventories
Mental health
Pre-K-12 education
Prevention
Public health
Substance abuse
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Madeline Barch
John Bauer
Kristofer Bitney
Julia Cramer
Adam Darnell
Sara del Moral
Elizabeth Drake
Danielle Fumia
Rebecca Goodvin
Lijian He
Casey Hicks
Michael Hirsch
Chasya Hoagland
Stephanie Lee
Marna Miller
Catherine Nicolai
Paige Wanner
Eva Westley
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