Does Supportive Housing Keep Families Together?

Research Report

Does Supportive Housing Keep Families Together?


In 2012, the Children’s Bureau in the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families funded Partnerships to Demonstrate the Effectiveness of Supportive Housing for Families in the Child Welfare System, a five-year, $25 million demonstration that provided supportive housing to families in the child welfare system, in five sites.

With funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Casey Family Programs, and the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, the Urban Institute conducted the cross-site evaluation, a mixed-methods randomized controlled trial that included 807 families, who were randomized to either a treatment group (N = 377) or a control group (N = 430). To understand the program’s impact, we drew upon four data sources: child welfare administrative data, program referral data, data on housing assistance for the treatment group, and family surveys conducted at baseline and 12 months after randomization. The study launched in 2012 and concluded in December 2018. This report provides our findings from the impact analysis. Our research focused on answering the following: Does supportive housing improve access to services, keep families stably housed, help keep families together and reduce their time spent in the child welfare system, and improve the health and social and emotional well-being for parents and children?

To reuse content from Urban Institute, visit, search for the publications, choose from a list of licenses, and complete the transaction.