By Lynn Johnson, ACF Assistant Secretary
The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) recently completed the final of ten listening sessions on the subject of family homelessness, one in each of the ten federal regions.
The listening sessions allowed us to learn about trends, barriers, and local innovative responses from a diverse group of more than 600 stakeholders: parents with lived experience, grantee and non-grantee service providers, educators, faith-based partners, and state and local government leaders. The listening sessions also allowed us to communicate ACF’s resources to attendees, and to ask attendees for ways in which our programs might be improved to better serve families and youth who are experiencing homelessness.
ACF administers programs that are uniquely able to strengthen and support children, youth, and families experiencing homelessness. Some of ACF’s programs have specific requirements to serve children and families who are homeless, while others offer services that can help lift families out of homelessness and into self-sufficiency.
Five of our program offices are particularly focused on youth and family homelessness:
We have begun the next phase of our work. We are carefully reviewing and analyzing transcripts, notes, and materials from both presenters and participants to draw lessons from what folks had to tell us. In so doing, we will be guided by ACF’s over-arching priorities: the achievement of self-sufficiency for parents and the health, well-being and wholesome development of children.
We look forward to sharing more soon.