Over the decade spanning 1997 to 2007, nearly 2,000 recommendations for improving Washington’s child welfare system were issued by boards, commissions, task forces and other bodies dedicated to protecting and supporting our state’s most vulnerable children and youth. In 2008, the Center developed a categorized, searchable database of those recommendations, identified from more than 250 reports issued by government panels, nonprofit organizations and advocacy groups. Our goal was to identify and encourage action on the viable recommendations while improving accountability for follow-through.
This in-depth analysis both honors and respects the 10 years of thoughtful work that occurred in the past while also providing a focal point for aligning collaborative work for the future. The far-ranging recommendations are both specific and broad, innovative and traditional, outcome-based and program-focused. Many are intended to improve the way in which service is delivered, while others center on prevention and early intervention. Virtually no aspect of the system – from families to courts to social services and beyond – is exempt from examination.
In the next phase of the project, the Center will concentrate on recommended reforms in four categories– adolescents, court processes, funding and organization – to identify those reforms not yet fully implemented. In 2009, three summit meetings wtih key decision makers were held and commitments were made for the implementation of viable recommendations, planning collaborative next steps completed, and agreement was reached on accountability for follow-through.
We are making this database available online, by application, for research and policy review purposes. Learn more about the database.