• July/August 2011
  • Vol. 12, No. 6

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Exploring Timeliness to Permanency Variations

Partners for Our Children is conducting an ongoing study with the goal of better understanding the factors that contribute to permanency outcomes for children who are under the supervision of the Washington Department of Social and Health Services, Children's Administration (DSHS/CA). The organization recently published a series of resources titled Timing of Permanency Exits From Out-of-Home Care: The Importance of Systems and Implications for Assessing Accountability for Permanency Outcomes.

Notable findings from the study include:

  • There is considerable variation across Washington State in levels of dependency court involvement.
  • Differences in levels of dependency court involvement are partially due to differences in the availability of services to troubled youth.
  • The rate of child reunification with parents is reduced by over two-thirds after a dependency petition is filed; in contrast, the rates of adoption and guardianship are more than doubled.
  • Differences across the State in the timing of reunification are related to the likelihood and timing of the dependency petition filing.

The report also contains a discussion of the relationship between the timing of the filing of dependency court petitions and the differences in permanency rates across the State.

Partners for Our Children is affiliated with the University of Washington School of Social Work, the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, and a number of private funders. The study's authors are Mark E. Courtney, Jennifer L. Hook, Tessa Keating, and Matt Orme.

Three publications on the study are found on the Partners for Our Children website:

www.partnersforourchildren.org/knowledge-center

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