Family Interventions & Youth Homelessness

In collaboration with Child Trends and with funding from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation in the Department of Health and Human Services, this study offers the first comprehensive assessment of existing evidence on family interventions as an effective tool to reduce youth homelessness.

Family conflict is a key driver of youth homelessness, and most programs serving youth experiencing homelessness use some form of family intervention to address conflict, helping youth reconnect with their families when appropriate. Yet, despite frequent use of family intervention techniques, there has never been a systematic evaluation of the evidence for this method’s effectiveness.

With literature review-supported evidence and supplemental conversations with key informants, this report summarizes both the existing evidence on family intervention strategies and the elements that make interventions effective. It also includes a discussion on gaps in the evidence.

We conclude that effective family intervention strategies do exist, and that current research provides useful insight into what makes them successful. However, more research is needed to evaluate those strategies aimed specifically at youth experiencing or at risk of homelessness.  

In addition to the full report, featured below are links to three distinct briefs intended for policymakers, researchers, and practitioners, respectively. Furthermore, we provide a link to a list of all the interventions examined, a description of their characteristics, intervention summaries, and references to relevant literature.

For more information, contact Mike Pergamit at MPergamit@urban.org