Colorado Title IV-E Waiver Interim Evaluation Report

Date: 2/2016

Author(s): Greg Forehand, Alli Schisler, Megan Villwock

The Colorado Title IV-E Waiver Interim Evaluation Report explores the impact of the Title IV-E Waiver (a national child welfare demonstration project) in the first two years of implementation across participating counties (41 counties in Year 1; 48 in Year 2).  Under Waiver flexible funding, the Colorado Department of Child Welfare expects that children, youth, and families will continue to be better served with in-home services and supports rather than out-of-home placements; county departments of human/social services will use kin placements and settings less restrictive than congregate care when placement is necessary; and families and youth will be positively engaged throughout the process of addressing safety concerns. To increase the likelihood of achieving these goals, Colorado employs five distinct Waiver interventions: family engagement meetings, kinship supports, Permanency Roundtables, trauma-informed screening, and trauma-informed assessment and treatment.

The evaluation report presents interim findings on the impact of these interventions and flexible funding as revealed through a process, outcomes, and cost study. Key preliminary findings reveal the efficacy of the Waiver in participating counties, and include a 12% decrease in foster care placement days (compared to a 29% increase among non-participating counties),  a 15% decrease in congregate care days (compared to a 6% decrease), and an unprecedented 48% increase in kinship care placement days.

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