Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families along with four private foundations (the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Casey Family Programs and the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation) named five state and local partners for a new $35 million initiative to stabilize fragile families and keep children out of foster care. Funding will be provided to test new models for preventing foster care placements by placing highly fragile families in supportive housing that integrates needed social and health services.
This initiative, in large part, is based on a successful 2007 pilot in New York City known as Keeping Families Together, which was funded by one of the aforementioned private foundations (the RWJF) and implemented by the Corporation for Supportive Housing. The pilot paired supportive housing with on-site case management and a comprehensive array of services for families experiencing chronic homelessness, substance abuse and mental health problems, and child welfare involvement.
Each expansion site will receive $5 million and technical assistance over five years to adapt this approach within their community. Their models will be evaluated to measure impact on housing stability, health, social and emotional outcomes among children and caregivers, as well as the need for involvement with the child welfare system.
As previously reported, CWLA supports the emphasis on integrating systems of care, which together can serve families who come to the attention of the child welfare system with complex, yet unique needs.