Commission on Children in Foster Care
Dependent Youth Interview Project - Preliminary Description of Survey Responses
0/ 0 agreed that they "told the judge things they didn't want to say in front of everyone else", while 27% disagreed with the statement. The rest marked no opinion.
Note: The responses summarized above are based on preliminary data; no conclusions
should be drawn until all data is received and analyzed. Data collection will continue until June
30, 2010. A final report to the Legislature is due by December 1, 2010
Dependent Youth Interview Project (DYI) Preliminary Description of Survey Responses
Background: ESSB 6792 (Chapter 267, Laws of 2008) established a pilot program allowing for judicial officers to interview dependent youth, twelve years or older, during dependency hearings held under Chapter 13.34 RCW. The purpose of the interview is for the judicial officer to determine the youth's wishes regarding issues that are before the court.
The AOC, working collaboratively with the Children's Administration (DSHS), is charged with implementing and evaluating the pilot program in 5 pilot sites: Benton, Franklin, King, Spokane and Thurston Counties. The Washington State Center for Court Research (WSCCR) has assumed a lead role in implementing the program and conducting the evaluation. The evaluation will measure effectiveness of the program, in large part, by the value the dependent youth place on the interviews, as well as feedback from court professionals.
Two data collection instruments are being used by each of the pilot sites: 1) a court reporting form is requested from each judicial officer who presides at a hearing involving a youth who is twelve years or older, and 2) a youth survey is requested from every eligible youth who attends a court hearing in their case.
Overview of Survey Responses: The following summary provides a high level description of
the responses received from each of the data collection instruments submitted through January
Court Reporting Form -Pilot courts have returned 660 forms from hearings involving eligible
youth. Courts reported that eligible youth attended an average of 52% of these hearings (343
hearings). Of the youth who attended their court hearings, approximately 25% asked for an
interview with the judicial officer. The amount of time judicial officers spent with youth in the
interview ranged from 5 to 30 minutes, with a median time of 10 minutes.
Youth Survey -Of the youth who attended their court hearings, approximately 78% completed a youth survey. Of those who talked to the judge separately in an interview, 51
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