University of Connecticut University of UC Title Fallback Connecticut

Housing and Child Welfare

Primary Investigators:

Preston Britner, UCONN

Anne Farrell, Chapin Hall

Evaluation Coordinator:  Danielle Annett

Project Manager: Lindsay Westberg

Graduate Research Associates: Kate Dibble,  Jonelle Reynolds

QRAFT Research to Practice

As part of the evaluation of a federal demonstration project on housing and child welfare, researchers at UConn and Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago are working collaboratively with the CT Department of Children and Families (DCF) and The Connection, Inc. to learn about the extent of housing instability and homelessness facing families in the child welfare system. As part of this effort, the research team created a short version of the Risks and Assets for Family Triage (RAFT). Staff from the Investigations Units of DCF completed the Quick RAFT (QRAFT) with over 6,000 families since November of 2014. The 3-question QRAFT was judged to be easy to use and effective in identifying significant housing concerns, which were more common among families with indicated child protective services reports. Scroll down to read the full brief.

Suggested Citation:

Farrell, A. F., Britner, P. A., & Dibble, K. E. (2016, July). Research to practice brief: Results from Connecticut’s universal housing screen in child welfare. Storrs, CT: Center for Applied Research in Human Development, University of Connecticut.
[ http://appliedresearch.uconn.edu/project-acf-grant/ ]

Evaluation of the Supportive Housing for Families (SHF) (2006-Present)

Drs. Anne Farrell and Preston Britner have served as the external evaluation team for The Connection, Inc. of Middletown, CT for over a decade, working mostly with their supportive housing program, Supportive Housing for Families, and therapeutic foster care program, Connecting Children and Families. The CARHD team conducts program evaluation, related research, policy analysis, and technical assistance in order to provide feedback to the programs, State agencies, and other stakeholders in an ongoing manner, enabling a feedback loop between evaluation and program enhancement.

CARHD faculty and graduate research assistants conducted an analysis of client characteristics and outcomes for the Supportive Housing for Families (SHF) program. This and related analyses of client engagement provided endorsement for the intensive case management model employed by SHF, and served as the basis for continuing collaboration.  The Farrell et al. (2010) publication was cited by the Administration for Children and Families as evidence and support for housing and child welfare initiatives.

Finally, the CARHD team assists in the development of screening protocols and tools for housing initiatives. We also provide technical assistance on methods of assessing client risk, progress, and outcomes as they advance through a housing program. Among the accomplishments are the development (with partners) of the Risks and Assets for Family Triage (RAFT; a tool used to measure parent assets, family health, and family resources as relevant in housing and child welfare) and the Quick RAFT, which can be used as a rapid screen for housing instability and homelessness in a range of settings.

Publications:

Farrell, A.F., Lujan, M., Britner, P.A., Randall, K., & Goodrich, S. (2012). “I am part of every decision”: Client perceptions of engagement within a supportive housing child welfare programme. Child and Family Social Work, 17(2), 254–264. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2206.2012.00831.x

Farrell, A.F., Britner, P.A., Guzzardo, M., & Goodrich, S. (2010). Supportive housing for families in child welfare: Client characteristics and their outcomes at discharge. Children and Youth Services Review, 32, 145-154. doi:10.1016/j.childyouth.2009.06.012

Technical Reports:

Goodrich, S., Britner, P.A., & Farrell, A.F. (2011, March). Connecting Children and Families: An indepth look at the experiences of professional foster parents. Technical report prepared for The Connection, Inc., Middletown, CT.

Farrell, A. F., Britner, P. A., & Goodrich, S. (2009). Supportive Housing for Families: Promoting child safety and family self sufficiency. Evaluation Summary (2006-2009). Technical report prepared for The Connection, Inc., Middletown, CT.

Goodrich, S., Britner, P. A., & Farrell, A. F. (2009). Connecting Children and Families: Interim report on a professional foster care model. Technical report prepared for The Connection, Inc., Middletown, CT.

Farrell, A.F., Britner, P.A., Lujan, M., & Guzzardo, M. (2008, July). Supportive Housing for Families: 2006-2008 evaluation final report. Technical report prepared for The Connection, Inc., Middletown, CT.

 

Evaluation of Partnerships to Demonstrate Effectiveness of Supportive Housing for Families in the Child Welfare System (2012-2017)

Intensive Supportive Housing for Families (ISHF) is a demonstration project administered through the CT Department of Children and Families (DCF) and funded through a five-year grant from the federal Administration for Children and Families. The project aims to increase stability and positive outcomes for families that are at-risk for separation or preparing to reunify after placement in foster care. Families enrolled in the project came to the attention of the Department of Children and Families because of chronic homelessness and other issues such as mental illness, chemical abuse, and domestic violence. The CT Housing and Child Welfare demonstration aims to shore up vulnerable families by using housing as a platform for related interventions.

The Connection, Inc. provides intensive case management services for the families, and insures that families in the ISHF program receive immediate and stable housing, access to interdisciplinary evidence-based professional support, as well as vocational, mental health, and educational services. With the addition of these services, ISHF should be an improvement on the original Supportive Housing for Families (SHF) initiative. Both ISHF and SHF are expected to have improved child and family outcomes in comparison to those families experiencing DCF Business as Usual (BAU) services.

These positive outcomes include:

  • Improved child welfare
  • Improved parental well-being
  • Improved child well-being
  • Improved parenting skills
  • Greater self-sufficiency
  • Improved child development

Center faculty and staff provide program evaluation (process, outcomes, and costs; data collection and analysis, technical reports), as well as lead dissemination and sustainability activities. Graduate assistants analyze and interpret data received from the assessment measures used within the grant to relay user-friendly information to case managers and social workers. Every six months data are analyzed to assess and track outcomes and then presented in technical and semi-annual reports.

Works in Progress and Under Review:

Farrell, A.F., Randall, K.G., Britner, P.A., Cronin, B., Somaroo-Rodriguez, S.K., & Hansen, L. (2014, under review). Integrated solutions for intertwined challenges: Connecticut’s statewide collaboration in supportive housing for child-welfare involved families. Paper to appear in special issue of Child Welfare on housing and economic security.

Goodrich, S.A., Randall, K.G., Farrell, A.F., & Britner, P.A. (2014). A mixed methods study of parent support and motivation in treatment foster care. Manuscript under review

Farrell, A. F., Randall, K. G., Goodrich, S. A., & Britner, P. A. Initial validation of the Risks and Assets for Family Triage (RAFT) instrument. Manuscript in preparation

Technical Reports:

 

Farrell, A. F., Britner, P. A., & Dibble, K. E. (2016, July). Research to practice brief: Results from Connecticut’s universal housing screen in child welfare. Storrs, CT: Center for Applied Research in Human Development, University of Connecticut.
[ http://appliedresearch.uconn.edu/project-acf-grant/ ]

Bryce, K., Farrell, A.F., Britner, P.A., & Racine, L. (2015, March). Client perceptions of engagement in child welfare and housing services: A pilot study. Technical report prepared under Partnerships to Demonstrate the Effectiveness of Supportive Housing for Families in the Child Welfare System, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, HHS-2012-ACF-ACYF-CA-0538.

Farrell, A.F., Randall, K.G., Britner, P.A., & Reynolds, J. (2015, March). Universal housing screening of families undergoing child welfare investigation: Technical report on CT’s pilot of the QRAFT. Storrs, CT: UConn Center for Applied Research in Human Development. Technical report prepared under Partnerships to Demonstrate the Effectiveness of Supportive Housing for Families in the Child Welfare System, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, HHS-2012-ACF-ACYF-CA-0538. http://appliedresearch.uconn.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/1024/2015/06/Universal-screening-housing-QRAFT-Pilot-CT-R3-Tech-Report-Final-March-9-2015.docx.pdf

Farrell, A.F., Randall, K.G., Britner, P.A., & Reynolds, J. (2015, February). QRAFT: Implications for client targeting and enrollment in CT’s housing and child welfare demonstration. Storrs, CT: UConn Center for Applied Research. Storrs, CT: UConn Center for Applied Research. Technical report prepared for The Administration for Children & Families, Children’s Bureau.

Farrell, A.F., Randall, K.G. (2015, January). Technical Report on the Q-RAFT: #2 in a Series Examining Housing Screening in DCF Region 3. Storrs, CT: UConn Center for Applied Research. Prepared for The Connection, Inc. and The CT Department of Children and Families.

Farrell, A.F., Randall, K.G., Racine, L., & Britner, P.A. (2014, December). Technical Report on the Q-RAFT: #2 in a Series Examining Housing Screening in DCF Region 3. Storrs, CT: UConn Center for Applied Research. Prepared for The Connection, Inc. and The CT Department of Children and Families.

Goodrich, S.A., Randall, K.G., Farrell, A.F., & Britner, P.A. (2013, March). Focus groups with SHF case managers. Technical report prepared for The Connection, Inc., Middletown, CT. under Grant HHS-2012-ACF-ACYF-CA-0538, Partnerships to Demonstrate the Effectiveness of Supportive Housing for Families in the Child Welfare System.

Randall, K. G., Farrell, A. F., & Britner, P. A. (2013). Risk Assessment for Family Triage (RAFT): Report on RAFT validation and revisions. Technical report prepared for The Connection, Inc., Middletown, CT.

Randall, K.G., Farrell, A.F., & Britner, P.A. (2012, March). Risk Assessment for Family Triage: Interim report on RAFT validation. Technical report prepared for The Connection, Inc., Middletown, CT.