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In September 2013, the Children’s Bureau awarded 18 grantees two-year planning grants to develop a comprehensive service model to prevent homelessness among youth and young adults with child welfare involvement. These related products from Phase I of Building Capacity to Evaluate Interventions for Youth/Young Adults with Child Welfare Involvement At-Risk of Homelessness (YARH) —a brief and a presentation—discuss lessons learned from working with the grantees, focusing on the application of the data strategy described in Framework to End Youth Homelessness: A Resource Text for Dialogue and Action Visit disclaimer page . A companion brief, Lessons from a Federal Initiative to Build Capacity to End Youth Homelessness , discusses the work Phase I grantees completed based on the capacity strategy of the Framework.
Youth and young adults with child welfare involvement face significant challenges in their transition to adulthood, challenges that increase their risk of becoming homeless. The Children’s Bureau within the Administration for Children and Families developed a multiphase grant initiative to build the evidence base on what works to prevent homelessness among youth and young adults who have been involved in the child welfare system. This program is referred to as Youth At-Risk of Homelessness (YARH). Eighteen organizations received funding for the first phase, a two year planning grant (2013-2015). Grantees used the planning period to conduct data analyses to help them understand their local population and develop a comprehensive service model to improve youth outcomes related to housing, education and training, social well-being, and permanent connections. Six of those organizations received funding to refine and test their comprehensive service models during the second phase, a three-year initial implementation grant (2015-2018). Framework to End Youth Homelessness: A Resource Text for Dialogue and Action provides a foundation from which communities can address homelessness among unaccompanied youth. Phase I grantees used the data and capacity strategies in the framework to develop a plan for ending homelessness among the youth and young adults with child welfare involvement in their communities.
Key Findings and Highlights
- Phase I grantees were among the first to implement the framework’s youth data strategy. Eight of the 18 grantees conducted state-level analyses; 3 were also able to conduct individual-level analyses. The remaining 10 grantees conducted analyses at a level consistent with the focus of their intervention: region, county, tribe, or city.
- Grantees were able to access multiple administrative data sets to learn more about the risk and protective factors that predict homelessness for youth and young adults involved in the child welfare system.
- Grantees also used surveys and focus groups to build their understanding of the risk and protective factors associated with homelessness among youth and young adults involved in the child welfare system.
- Accessing data also presented challenges. Data-use agreements could take 3 to 18 months to execute. Some agencies had significant concerns about sharing individual-level data, so they provided only aggregate data.
The information in this brief comes from grantee applications for both Phase I and Phase II and papers and presentations by grantees. We reviewed documents to quantify data sources, analytic methods, and findings.
Ross, Christine, and Rebekah Selekman. (2017). Analysis of Data on Youth with Child Welfare Involvement At Risk of Homelessness. OPRE Report Number 2017-54. Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
- Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation
- Phase I:
- Grants awarded in 2013 by the Children’s Bureau to 18 communities in response to the funding opportunity announcement “Planning Grants to Develop a Model Intervention for Youth/Young Adults with Child Welfare Involvement At Risk of Homelessness”
- Phase II:
- Grants awarded in 2015 by the Children’s Bureau to six communities in response to the funding opportunity announcement “Implementation Grants to Develop A Model Intervention for Youth/Young Adults With Child Welfare Involvement At Risk of Homelessness”
- Youth At Risk of Homelessness, acronym used to represent the initiative funded by ACF to support communities in addressing homelessness among youth and young adults with child welfare involvement.