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The 2017 Washington State Legislature directed WSIPP to complete a study measuring the outcomes for youth who have received extended foster care services pursuant to RCW 74.13.031(11). The final study, due December 1, 2019, will include estimates of any savings to state and local governments and compare outcomes for youth who have received extended foster care services with youth who aged out of foster care when they turned 18. To the extent possible, the study will also include a comparison of extended foster care programs in other states and a review of the available research on those programs.
In this preliminary report, we provide background on the evolution of the program in Washington State and describe research on similar programs in other states. We then outline the approaches we will use to: (1) evaluate Washington’s extended foster care program and (2) estimate the benefits and costs of the program.