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The Children’s Bureau funded a multi-phase grant program referred to as Youth At-Risk of Homelessness (YARH) 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. To date, there is very little evidence on how to meet the needs of this population.
YARH is built on the Federal Framework to End Youth Homelessness (PDF) Visit disclaimer page , which was published in 2013 by the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH). The goals of the framework are to guide the development of data strategies that are intended to reveal the size and characteristics of the homeless youth population and to support the development of local capacity to prevent youth homelessness. The USICH framework targets the population of youth at risk of homelessness and suggests that the Preliminary Intervention Model Visit disclaimer page be used to address this issue.
The model focuses on four core outcomes: (1) housing, (2) permanent connections, (3) education and employment, and (4) social-emotional well-being. YARH is the first test of the framework in practice.
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 multi-phase grant initiative for planning, implementing, and evaluating comprehensive service models intended to prevent homelessness among youth and young adults with child welfare involvement.
This issue brief discusses the overall YARH grant program, including the rationale for the grant program and the supports provided to grantees.
- In September 2013, the Children’s Bureau awarded 18 grantees two-year planning grants (YARH Phase I) to develop a comprehensive service model that identified the changes needed in the local child welfare system and new or modified services or practices to prevent homelessness among youth and young adults with child welfare involvement.
- In September 2015, the Children’s Bureau awarded three-year Phase II grants to 6 of the original 18 grantees to refine and test their comprehensive service models.
- The Children’s Bureau anticipates a third phase of YARH which will involve conducting summative evaluations designed to add to the evidence base on how to prevent homelessness among youth with child welfare involvement.
Data for this brief come from funding opportunity announcements for the Phase I and Phase II grants and conversations with federal project officers.
Emily Knas, Matthew Stagner, and M.C. Bradley (2018). Federal and Local Efforts to Support Youth At Risk of Homelessness. OPRE Report No. 2018-97. 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 6 communities in response to the funding opportunity announcement “Implementing Grants to Develop a Model Intervention for Youth/Young Adults with Child Welfare Involvement At Risk of Homelessness”
- U.S. Interagency Council on 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