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Technical Report on Child Welfare Trajectories for Crossover Youth

This report provides the findings from the first phase of a project designed to identify and describe characteristics of crossover youth in Connecticut. These findings are part of a project that combines data from the Department of Children and Families (DCF), The Child Protection (CP) Division of the Superior Court for Juvenile Matters, and the Court Support Services Division (CSSD) of the Juvenile Branch. In this work, Crossover Youth (COY) is a term that describes youth who at any point in childhood are involved with both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. The study found that crossover rates were highest among: males, minorities (African American, Hispanic), youth with out-of-home placements, youth with repeated involvement in DCF, and youth who were older at first contact with DCF. The report also identifies five trajectories of DCF involvement that influence crossing over. Read the full report here.

Center staff release a research brief on universal housing screening

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.

Center researchers release a research brief on crossover youth

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.

Center staff release a report on universal housing screening in child welfare

Center staff release a report on universal housing screening in child welfare. Most families referred to child welfare live in poverty and many experience housing concerns. Connecticut is one of the five national demonstration sites engaged in federally-funded Partnerships to Demonstrate the Effectiveness of Supportive Housing (SH) for Families in the Child Welfare System. Staff of The Center are engaged as evaluators of the project. From November to January, a housing screen was administered to all families undergoing a child welfare investigation in one part of CT. The purpose was to ensure every family underwent housing review early in their child welfare involvement. The Center’s report indicates that, among substantiated cases (n=98), 21.4% had significant to severe housing barriers and 12.2% had unsustainable housing challenges. Extrapolating these numbers to the rest of the state, an estimated 1035 families might present with significant or severe housing concerns, and an additional 641 might present with moderate housing concerns. The report discusses policy, systems, state, and project implications of the study. This work was featured in the Child Welfare and Supportive Housing Resource Center newsletter.

Opening Doors for Youth Plan

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.

Dr. Anne F. Farrell testifies in support of data sharing bill

Center Director Farrell testifies in support of administrative data sharing
Center Director Dr. Anne F. Farrell testified before the CT General Assembly, Joint Committee on Government Administration and Elections. Dr. Farrell provided expertise on data security, access, and the potential for increased transparency, efficiency, and accountability for public programs. If passed, Governor’s Bill No. 949 would mandate State Executive agencies to respond to requests for administrative data. Administrative data are routinely collected by government departments for purposes of client/citizen registration, eligibility, benefits administration, transactions, and record keeping, usually during service delivery. These data, when merged across programs, can provide a wealth of information about the benefits, costs, and ultimate long term impact of publicly funded programs. Administrative data can be de-identified and shared, enabling program evaluation and related analysis without concern for breaches that would result in the release of citizens’ private information. Read her testimony here.