Child Outcome Goal

  • Youth Suicide Rates

    One of DCYF’s health goals is for youth to experience positive behavioral and mental health. Trends in mental health over the past decade show an increase in rates of suicide and attempted suicide. Between 2013 and 2021, rates of youth suicide and attempted suicide have increased by more than 600%.

    Rate of Suicide and Suicide Attempts per 100,000 Adolescents Age 10-17, 2013-2021
    Suicide and Suicide Attempts per 100,000 Adolescents Age 10-17, 5 Year Rate, 2017-2021
  • CPS Response Rates

    One of DCYF's resilience goals is that parents and caregivers are supported to meet the needs of children and youth. From a prevention standpoint, if parents are supported in meeting the needs of their children and youth, they will experience improved outcomes in safety and well-being. As an indicator for this outcome, DCYF is monitoring the rate at which children require a response from CPS.

    Children and Youth (Age 0-17) Requiring a CPS Response, per 1,000, 2010-2022
  • Adult Support when Depressed

    In the agency's efforts to improve and support the resilience of children, youth, and families in Washington, DCYF has set a goal that children and youth are supported by healthy relationships with adults. One way to measure this is by tracking the percentage of youth who report having support from adults when they are feeling sad or depressed.

    In 2021, 51 percent of 10th graders who live with their parents/guardians felt they had access to adult support if they were feeling depressed. In comparison, 37.6 percent of 10th graders who do not live with their parents/guardians reported having access to an adult for support when depressed.

    10th Graders with Adult Support when Depressed, by Living Situation, 2021
      depressed adults

  • Youth Depression

    In 2021, the HYS surveyed 9,378 10th-graders in Washington. Of the 8,506 who reported their living situations, 8,150 (95.8%) lived with parents/guardians, 194 (2.3%) lived with other relatives, 30 (0.4%) lived in foster care, and 132 (1.6%) lived with others or on their own. Of those living with parents/guardians, 37.4 percent reported feeling depressed, compared to 52 percent of students who did not live with parents/guardians.

    10th Graders Reporting Depression, by Living Situation, 2021
      10th Grade Depression

  • Well-Child Visits

    Another DCYF health goal is that children and youth reach developmentally appropriate milestones.

    Data from developmental screenings, such as the Early Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment (EPSDT) assessment, can be used to track progress on healthy child and youth development; however, this information is not currently available. In State Fiscal Year 2023, 44 percent of 3 to 11 year olds on Medicaid received at least one well-care visit.

    Percent of 3-11 Year Olds on Medicaid Receiving One or More Well-Care Visit in SFY 2023
  • Healthy Birthweight

    DCYF’s first health outcome is that more babies will be born at a healthy birthweight. Babies born at a healthy birthweight are more likely to experience appropriate childhood development, both physically and mentally. About 83,000 babies were born in Washington in 2020. Over the past five years, about 66 babies out of every 1,000 live births were born with a low birthweight (less than 2,500 grams, or about 5.5 pounds).

    Babies Born with Low Birthweight, per 1,000 Live Births, 5 Year Rate, 2016-2020
  • High School Graduation

    DCYF’s third outcome goal related to education is that high school students graduate on time. Among 85,240 high school students in the 2022 cohort, 70,121 (82%) graduated on time.

    Among that 2022 cohort, about half (43,997) are indicated as low-income students. Non-low-income students graduated at a rate of 94%. By comparison, 84% of low-income students graduated on time.

    Of youth receiving Juvenile Rehabilitation services during the 2005-2006 school year who were enrolled in ninth grade, 9 percent graduated on time (2008-2009) and an additional 5 percent graduated within the following two years.

    Four Year Graduation Rate, by Income Group, Classes of 2013-2022
      grad rate
  • Youth School Engagement

    The second DCYF education outcome goal is that youth are engaged in school. Youth who feel more connected or committed to school are more likely to achieve positive academic outcomes and are less likely to experience mental health issues.

    Engagement in school can be measured by the Healthy Youth Survey’s index of engagement in school, which captures information on decision-making opportunities at school, one-on-one opportunities with teachers, opportunities to work on special projects, extracurricular opportunities, and feeling a part of class activities or discussions. 2021 Healthy Youth Survey results show that 70.4% of 10th graders living with parents/guardians report a high level of engagement at school, compared to 61.7% of students who do not live with parents/guardians.

    10th Graders with High Levels of School Engagement, by Living Situation, 2021
      Entries and exits

  • Kindergarten Readiness

    One of DCYF’s child outcome goals is that children should be ready for kindergarten. Each year about 80,000 children enter kindergarten in Washington’s public school system. Across all income groups, 48% of children in Washington are ready for kindergarten (as measured by the Washington Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills assessment). Children from higher income families are most likely to be ready for kindergarten, while children from middle income and lower income families are ready for kindergarten at lower rates.

    Kindergarten Readiness, by Household Income Group (Relative to Federal Poverty Level), 2022-2023
  • Economic Stability

    Another goal of DCYF is that families have economic stability. As DCYF staff engaged stakeholders across the state on what they wanted to see children and families achieve, we heard repeatedly about the importance of basic needs being met. Without economic security, many other positive outcomes related to health and education become harder to achieve. Census data on Washington State families with children living below the poverty level show disparities based on race and ethnicity. While White and Asian families live below the poverty level at rates lower than the state average of 10%, others have much higher rates. American Indian/Alaska Native and Hispanic/Latino families with children live below the poverty level at rates over twice what White families experience, and the poverty rate of Black/African American families is nearly three times the rate of poverty for White families. One in 5 Black/African American families in Washington State live in poverty, as do 1 in 6 families who are Hispanic or American Indian/Alaska Native.

    Percent of Washington State Families with Children, Living Below Poverty Level, by Race/Ethnicity, 2010-2022
      family engagement