Does Supportive Housing Benefit Families in the Child Welfare System?

Fact Sheet

Does Supportive Housing Benefit Families in the Child Welfare System?

Abstract

Children experiencing homelessness or living in inadequate and unstable housing are exposed to many risks, including a heightened threat of involvement with the child welfare system. For families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, having stable housing could mitigate these risks and help families stay together.

In 2012, the US Department of Health and Human Services launched Partnerships to Demonstrate the Effectiveness of Supportive Housing for Families in the Child Welfare System, providing $5 million in five-year grants for intensive wraparound services to be linked with permanent, affordable housing marshalled by five demonstration communities.

The Urban Institute implemented a randomized controlled trial evaluation of the demonstration to evaluate how supportive housing affects high-need families involved in the child welfare system. We also interviewed families and program staff across the five sites (Broward County, Florida; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Connecticut; Memphis, Tennessee; and San Francisco, California) to learn about parents’ experiences and about how sites implemented the supportive housing models.

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