What We'll Learn from the Evaluation

SHARP: An Evaluation Partnership

The Urban Institute is conducting the national evaluation of the Partnerships to Demonstrate the Effectiveness of Supportive Housing for Families in the Child Welfare System demonstration. We are collecting and analyzing data from across the demonstration’s five sites to understand how to target scarce housing resources, test the effectiveness of supportive housing, and measure return on investment.

Our national evaluation uses a rigorous, randomized controlled trial research design to help policymakers and practitioners understand the following research questions:

  • How are the models of supportive housing defined at each site? Can the models integrate their services and get families the services they need from the various systems they must interact with?
  • Does each model effectively target services to families at high risk of continued child welfare involvement and family instability?
  • Do supportive housing programs keep families stably housed, reduce their time spent in the child welfare system, and improve their health and social and emotional well-being?
  • How much do supportive housing models for child welfare–involved families cost, and are they cost effective? Do they produce savings across services such as the child welfare and the homelessness systems?

In addition, each of the demonstration’s five sites has a local evaluator who is investigating site-specific research questions. Together, our evaluation teams form Supportive Housing for Child Welfare Families: A Research Partnership (SHARP).

The SHARP collaborative is made up of the Urban Institute, grantees and local evaluators from each site, the Administration for Children and Families’ Children’s Bureau, CSH’s Child Welfare and Supportive Housing Resource Center, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Casey Family Programs, and the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation.