Most families in child welfare are living in poverty and many experience housing concerns. Connecticut is one of five national demonstration sites engaged in Partnerships to Demonstrate the Effectiveness of Supportive Housing (SH) for Families in the Child Welfare System. Researchers from the Center are engaged as evaluators of the project. As part of the demonstration, a housing screen was completed on all families undergoing an investigation in one part of CT. The full report of the initial results was released in April. The current research brief highlights the results and addressee the implications and recommendations that came out of this phase of the project. The housing screen was found to be effective, quick, and easy. Implementing a prompt, universal screening of families in child welfare ensures a housing lens is applied early in a family’s involvement. The continued use of the QRAFT will help CT better understand the overlap in housing and child welfare concerns, enable allocation of housing resources, and inform policy to address the shortage of safe, stable, and afforable housing for families.
Policymakers, front line staff, and researchers are well aware that there is overlap between the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. Crossover youth (COY) is a term to describe youth who are served by both systems. To better understand this population in Connecticut, the Department of Children and Families, the Child Protection Division of the Superior Court for Juvenile Matters, and the Court Support Services Division of the Juvenile Branch partnered to share data from their respective systems. This data set of 7,268 DCF-involved youth was provided to researchers at the Center for analysis. The Center’s report indicates that 16.6% of DCF-involved youth had subsequent contact with the juvenile justice system. Additionally, it was found that youth with persistent involvement with DCF throughout childhood and into adolescence were at a particularly high risk for juvenile justice involvement. Read the full report here.
On March 25, 2015, the Opening Doors-CT Homeless Youth Workgroup released its Opening Doors for Youth Plan. The Center for Applied Research in Human Development co-authored the report, which provides a framework for ending homelessness for Connecticut youth and young adults. The plan is the product of a year long, multi-stakeholder initiative that brought together a diverse range of constituents including youth consultants who experienced acute or chronic housing instability, multiple relocations, and homelessness. Consultants, community providers, researchers collaborated to create recommendations for an integrated network of services for homeless and unstably housed youth. Center Director Dr. Anne F. Farrell chaired the initiative’s Services and Supports Subgroup and served as one of the lead authors. Read more about the initiative at the Partnership for Strong Communities website.