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Maternity Group Homes Fact Sheet

Photograph of a young man helping a toddler to walk.Issue History

Thousands of young people run away from their homes, are asked to leave their homes, or become homeless in the United States each year. Many of these young people are pregnant or have already become parents. Pregnant and parenting youth not only need basic necessities like food and shelter, they must also learn to be effective parents.

In response to growing concern for youth in need of long-term, supportive assistance that emergency shelter programs were not designed to provide, Congress created the Transitional Living Program for Older Homeless Youth as part of the 1988 Amendments to the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974.

Today, the Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) funds the MGH Program as part of the Transitional Living Program, under the provisions of the Reconnecting Homeless Youth Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-378).

Program History

FYSB-funded Maternity Group Homes promote long-term economic independence in order to ensure the well-being of youth and their children.

The Maternity Group Home Program (MGH) supports homeless pregnant and/or parenting young people between the ages of 16 and 22, as well as their dependent children. Services are provided for up to 21 months, or until a young person turns 18 years old if they enter a program at age 16. MGH grantees are required to teach young people parenting skills as well as child development, family budgeting, health and nutrition, and other skills.


Maternity Group Home grantees are required to offer the following services, either directly or by referral:

Extended residential shelter

  • Group homes
  • Maternity group homes
  • Host family homes
  • Supervised apartments

Service coordination plan

  • Referral of homeless youth to social services, law enforcement, educational services, vocational training, welfare, legal services, health care programs, affordable child care, and/or child education programs

Transitional living plan

  • Transition plan from supervised participation to independent living or another appropriate living arrangement

Basic life skills resources and counseling services

  • Money management, budgeting, consumer education, use of credit
  • Parenting skills (e.g., child-safe transitional and independent living accommodations, education in parenting, child discipline, and safety as well as direct supervision of parenting and related domestic skills)
  • Interpersonal skill-building
  • Educational advancement
  • Job attainment skills
  • Mental and physical health care
  • Individual and/or group counseling and parent/child counseling

Outreach Plans

FYSB also requires grantees to incorporate elements of Positive Youth Development (PYD), which suggests that the best way to prevent risky behavior is to help young people achieve their full potential. Youth development strategies focus on leadership, skill-building, and community involvement.

Grant Award Process

FYSB funds the Maternity Group Home Program as a subset of the Transitional Living Program under the provisions of the Reconnecting Homeless Youth Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-378).

FYSB solicits applications for the Transitional Living Program by posting funding announcements on the website. Applications are competitively reviewed by peer panels, and successful applicants receive five-year grants.

Contact Us

National Clearinghouse on Homeless Youth and Families
4340 East-West Highway, Suite 1100, Bethesda, MD 20814
Telephone: (833) GET-RHYi (833-438-7494) 
Fax:  (301) 828-1506


Last Reviewed: December 11, 2018

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