Sustaining Efforts to Reduce Youth Homelessness Without Additional Federal Funding

August 31, 2017
Topics:
Abuse, Neglect, Adoption & Foster Care, Youth Services
Projects:
Building Capacity to Evaluate Interventions for Youth/Young Adults with Child Welfare Involvement At-Risk of Homelessness (YARH), 2013-2024 | Learn more about this project
Types:
Reports
Sustaining Efforts to Reduce Youth Homelessness Without Additional Federal Funding
Download report (pdf)
  • File Size 449kb
  • Pages 7
  • Published 2017

Introduction

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. Twelve of these communities did not receive Phase II implementation funding. This related brief from Phase I of Building Capacity to Evaluate Interventions for Youth/Young Adults with Child Welfare Involvement At-Risk of Homelessness (YARH) discusses how seven of those communities planned to sustain their efforts to prevent youth homelessness in the absence of Phase II funding. Such plans included seeking other funding, scaling back the work to fit constraints, and integrating Phase I plans into existing efforts.

Purpose

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. Twelve of these communities did not receive Phase II implementation funding. This brief discusses how seven of those communities planned to sustain their efforts to prevent youth homelessness in the absence of Phase II funding. All seven communities planned to continue their Phase I work in some way, although the ways in which the work was being continued varied.

Key Findings and Highlights

  • Grantees made changes at the system and service levels during Phase I, and they planned to sustain the changes after Phase I ended. Among these changes were modifications to referral and data systems, changes to assessments, integrating Phase I services into existing efforts, and modifying existing services to reflect the knowledge gained during Phase I.
  • Grantees identified supplemental funding to help support efforts beyond Phase I. This included foundation support for a service identified by one grantee.
  • Sustainability after Phase I has been affected by challenges encountered during Phase I, including data issues, the grant’s requirement to focus on three youth populations ((1) adolescents who enter foster care between 14 and 17, (2) young adults aging out of foster care, and (3) homeless youth/young adults with foster care histories up to 21) simultaneously, and the task of engaging partners.

Methods

Individual phone calls with the Phase I project director and/or project manager were completed in November and December 2015, as most Phase I grantees were preparing to submit their final Phase I grant report. Notes from phone calls were coded to identify themes regarding sustainability plans.

Citation

Klein Vogel, Lisa, Nickie Fung, and M. C. Bradley. (2017). “Sustaining Efforts to Reduce Youth Homelessness Without Additional Federal Funding.” OPRE Report Number 2017-56. Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Glossary

OPRE
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”
YARH
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.
Last Reviewed: April 29, 2019