The Hope Index

Merriam-Webster defines hope as desiring with an expectation of obtainment or fulfillment.  

Here at the Lab, we think that one of the keys to creating change within the Washington state foster care system is to increase the overall levels of hopefulness within the system. In Phase Two of our work, we sought to measure those levels of hope, as well as gain insight into what factors increase or decrease those levels. In our first phase, we focused our surveys on foster parents. In this phase, we sought to expand that data-collection to all system participants, from social workers, to CASAs, to judges.

We knew in the beginning that one of our key challenges would be creating a sense of safety and purpose so that all participants would be willing to respond. We had been told by various stakeholders that they were not comfortable being open with their opinions, because they didn’t want that information shared with their supervisors. Ever the optimists, we decide to try anyway.

Unfortunately, despite our assurances of confidentiality, we struggled to get enough responses to provide statistically significant data and we paused the Hope Index. We still think understanding hope is an important piece of the puzzle, but decided to focus on limited resources elsewhere until there we sensed an increased feeling of safety.

You can review our October results below.