Washington State Department of Social and Health Services

Research & Data Analysis Division

Description: The First Steps Database (FSDB) was designed to evaluate and monitor programs and services for low income and other high risk women and children in Washington State. The First-Steps Database links vital statistics, Medicaid claims eligibility data, the Treatment and Report Generation Tool (TARGET), which is the management information system used by the Division of Alcohol and Substance Abuse, and the Case and Management Information System (CAMIS) files, which are maintained by Children's Administration of DSHS. The FSDB matches birth and death certificate information provided by the Department of Health Center for Health Statistics with the eligibility history and claims files from the Office of Financial Management and Health and Recovery Services Administration.

The goal of the First Steps program, authorized by the Maternity Care Access Act of 1989, was to provide, "maternity care necessary to ensure healthy birth outcomes for low-income families." The legislation called for removal of unnecessary barriers to receiving prenatal care and provided for increased access to care and expanded Medicaid services for low-income pregnant women. The First Steps Program has served low-income pregnant women in Washington state since 1989, and by the end of 2006 more than 370,000 women had received services through this program. See the First Steps Program website for more information.

The FSDB was created and is maintained by Research and Data Analysis, DSHS, and is currently updated to include births from mid-1988 through 2006.


Fact Sheets:

Contact: Laurie Cawthon, telephone: (360)902-0712