WA report finds improved outcomes, cost savings w/kid counsel

11/15/2021, Report, Abuse/Neglect/Dependency - Children

In Washington State, the University of Washington, Office of CIvil Legal Aid, and Washington State Center for Court Research have released a joint report comparing children who receive representation in child welfare cases to those who do not.  The study's key findings: 


  • Represented children were 45% more likely to achieve reunification.
  • For represented children, there was a 30% reduction in the rate of placement moves, and a 65% reduction in the rate of non-normative school moves.
  • The study estimated that representation saved the state $1.2 million in child welfare costs, and "These conservative calculations do not take into account potential cost savings outside of the child welfare system, such as in the educational, employment, health, or criminal justice domains."