FYSB supports organizations and communities that work every day to reduce the risk of youth homelessness, adolescent pregnancy, and domestic violence. FYSB achieves this by supporting programs that provide shelter, community services, and prevention education for youth, adults, and families. Funded programs provide both short-term and long-term shelter services through our runaway and homeless youth programs and domestic violence programs. These programs not only provide a safe place to stay, but also a spectrum of services to help build life skills and create supportive settings so that youth and families can thrive in their own communities.
In 2020, FYSB and OHS are promoting collaboration between Runaway and Homeless Youth (RHY) grantees and EHS grantees through planned communications to program directors of both community-based programs. The goal of the communications is to improve collaboration between programs that serve pregnant youth and young families experiencing homelessness to ensure that these families have access to high-quality early care and education. In addition, FYSB and OHS will rely on their National Training and Technical Assistance Centers to share training and resource material related to early childhood development and young parents and families experiencing homelessness.
Since 2010, FYSB’s Family Violence Prevention and Services Program has partnered with OHS and OCC to provide training and technical assistance on supporting families with young children struggling with domestic violence. This collaboration has included listening sessions, national and regional trainings, and consultation on curriculum development. At the local level, there are many ways that local Early Childhood Education (ECE) programs and domestic violence service providers can work together and promote coordinated messages of healing and resilience for children and their abused parents:
- View child safety as inherently linked to the safety of their abused parent;
- Promote protective factors that lessen the impact of domestic violence and nurture resiliency in abused parents and their children;
- Develop and maintain mutually respectful relationships with victim advocates and ECE programs at the local level – know their intake processes, understand their services, and have a solid contact for referrals;
- Train across disciplines – share your expertise and support one another to create the best outcomes for survivors and their children;
- Help abused parents find the support they need – ensure that intentional referrals are made to services that are trauma-informed, culturally relevant, linguistically accessible, and age-appropriate; and
- When working with abused parents, help restore their sense of control and decision-making as a parent.
Under FYSB’s RHY Program, grants support short-term shelter for runaway and homeless youth under 18 years of age through the Basic Center Program, and long-term shelter for RHY from 16 to 21 years of age through the Transitional Living Program and Maternity Group Homes (MGH). The Street Outreach Program serves street youth under 22 years of age. The National Runaway Safeline (NRS) serves as the federally funded communication system for youth at risk, runaway youth, youth experiencing homelessness, and their parents or legal guardians. NRS provides short crisis intervention and connects youth and families with local resources through their 24/7 and 365-day hotline services, which includes telephone, texts, emails, and chats. NRS also provides services to parents, legal guardians, and organizations requesting technical assistance.
MGH programs serve pregnant and/or parenting youth ages 16 to 21 with shelter up to 18-months, parenting skills, child development education, and health and nutrition services. MGH programs provide a direct opportunity to prioritize early childhood development since grantees are directed to connect with HS/EHS, EHS-CCP, and other community resources that promote early childhood development and learning, and provide wrap around child care services to ensure stable employment. In addition, MGH programs use father engagement, responsible fatherhood strategies, and co-parenting approaches.
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