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Housing Solutions for Child Welfare Families and Youth innovative approaches to Serving Special populations


Title: The Family Unification Program Author: Ruth White Last modified by: Mindy Created Date: 5/13/2000 7:01:10 PM Document presentation format: On-screen Show (4:3) – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Housing Solutions for Child Welfare Families and Youth innovative approaches to Serving Special populations

Housing Solutions for Child Welfare Families
and Youth innovative approaches to Serving
Special populations
NCSHA 2014
  • Housing Solutions for Child Welfare Youth and
  • Ruth Anne White, National Center for Housing and
    Child Welfare

The National Center for Housing and Child Welfare
  • NCHCW links housing and child welfare resources
    in order to improve family functioning, prevent
    family homelessness, safely reduce the need for
    out-of-home placement, and ensure that each young
    person who ages out foster care is able to access
    safe, decent, permanent housing.

What is the scope of the problem?
Housing Matters
  • Housing affects families at each decision point
    in the child welfare continuum. Children from
    families with housing problems are
  • More likely to be investigated by CPS (Culhane et
    al, 2004)
  • More likely to be placed in out-of-home care
    (Courtney et al, 2004)
  • Longer stayers in foster care (Jones, 1998)
  • Thirty percent of children in foster care are
    there because of housing problems (Doerre
    Mihaly, 1996 Hagedorn, 1995 Thoma, 1998).
  • Housing poses a special challenge for which cw
    workers are uniquely ill-equipped (English,

Housing is Cost-Effective
  • A 15 million investment in housing subsidies
    means that more than 9,000 children can return
    home. This will result in a savings of 101
    million in foster care expenditures. (Harburger
    and White, 2004). (or 56, 892 per family)
  • It costs 53,500 to serve a homeless young person
    on the street or in residential treatment but
    supportive housing for one young person costs
    only 5,300. (Van Leeuwen, 2004).

Housing is a smart investment
  • "If we can invest resources that we now spend to
    have kids in foster care to help stabilize their
    families so that they can take care of their own
    kids, that would be better for the kids, better
    for the families, and better for the
    child-welfare system," Donald says. "The system's
    past failures are not due to lack of resources.
    They really are not. And that definitely includes
    Baltimore City." Instead, she says resources have
    been poorly allocated. It is cheaper to provide
    services for families than to house kids in group
    homes, which can cost the system 72,000 a year
    per child. (MD DHR Secretary Brenda Donald, June
    10, 2009, Baltimore City Paper)

State and Local Child Welfare Funding for Housing
  • Local child welfare dollars are flexible and what
    they can be used for is at the discretion of the
    local administrator.
  • State child welfare dollars are also flexible,
    and again, these funds are distributed at the
    discretion of the state child welfare leaders,
    state budget director and Governors office. In
    Connecticut, for example, state child welfare
    dollars are used to provide bridge subsidies for
    housing in lieu of Section 8 funding for hundreds
    of families. This has been the case for over a

Federal child welfare funding for housing
  • Promoting Safe and Stable Families Program
  • TANF
  • Social Services Block Grant
  • Medicaid Targeted Case Management Funding
  • States that currently have a Title IV-E waiver
    may be able to subsidize housing
  • States can institute DIFFERENTIAL REPONSE

Knit funding streams together to maximize time
for youth to prevent homelessness and achieve
16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25
Independent Living
Title IV-E
Family Foster Care/Residential Unaccompanied/ Hom
eless youth
FUP for youth
Regular Sec. 8 Other Subsidy Perm Supp
Hsg Roommate Private Housing/LL
Title IV-E can be used to subsidize rent.
States must use available flexibility to free up
funds for housing
  • Independent Living funds (Chafee) can and
    should be used for housing.
  • States have considerable flexibility on the use
    of Title IV-E funds for this population. They
    must be encouraged to use it for housing.
  • The way that state and county child welfare
    dollars are spent is dictated by state and local
    governments. They must be encouraged to use this
    funding for housing.

Housing Resources
A partial list of housing funding sources coupled
with child welfare
  • Family Unification Program
  • Public Housing Authorities Section 8, PH, PBVs
  • Low Income Housing Tax Credit
  • HOME
  • City and State housing funds, SHFAs
  • Private Landlords
  • Private Philanthropy

What is the Family Unification Program (FUP)?
  • FUP is a housing program for families and
    aging-out youth in the child welfare system. At
    minimum, FUP provides Section 8 vouchers to child
    welfare families.
  • FUP is a local level collaboration between
    Housing Authorities and Child Welfare Agencies.
  • FUP is designed to strengthen and stabilize
    families and assist aging out youth reach

FUP Partnerships
US Dept of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
Department of Children and Families (child
Funding for Sec. 8 vouchers
Certifies eligibility
Funding and referrals
Local Public Housing Authority (PHA)
Family/Young Person
Issues voucher to household
Housing search assistance and case management
Pays approx. 30 of income as rent to landlord
Pays HAP rent on time to landlord, HQS inspection
Supportive Housing/ IL Program
New York City Example Coupling Section 8
eligibility and the LIHTC
  • The LIHTC was established in 1986 in order to
    encourage the construction and rehabilitation of
    rental housing affordable to low income
  • NYCHA and ACS have been at the forefront of
    creating local priority codes for FUP eligible
    households and then using that status to leverage
    private dollars and developers in order to free
    up units for youth leaving foster care.

City of Las Vegas setting local Section 8
  • The Housing Authority of the City of Las Vegas
    partnered with DSS and created a local waitlist
    preference for Housing Choice Vouchers. When a
    voucher becomes available, eligible foster youth
    through a referral from DSS, receives a voucher
    plus services.

Colorado State Using IDAs to support youth
  • The Colorado Family Unification Program (FUP)
    focuses on serving former foster care youth
    experiencing homelessness. In 2001, the Colorado
    Department of Human Services received 100 FUP
  • These Section 8 vouchers last for 18 months and
    are targeted specifically for youth ages 1821
    that leave foster care at age 16 or older with
    inadequate housing.
  • Recently partnered with Mile High United Way to
    beef up case management. Through this
    partnership, youth have access to job training
    and IDAs

New Jersey Example
  • Homeownership for Adopting FamiliesNJHMFA's
    award-winning Home Ownership for Permanency
    Program provides home ownership mortgage loans to
    families that are newly adopting or making a
    permanent commitment through kinship legal
    guardianship for a child through the Department
    of Human Services, Division of Youth and Family
    Services, or a state-licensed adoption agency.
  • NJHMFA also administered affordable housing for
    former foster youth.

Florida Example Using the HOME Program
  • Jeb Bush, when Governor, used his discretion to
    set aside 5 of HOME funds to subsidize rent for
    youth participating in the Road to Independence
    Program. leaving foster care.
  • Florida also made use of LIHTCs for youth and
    helped to interpret complex eligibility rules and
    exclusions for this population. The Carlisle
    Development Group developed housing for youth.

What Services are needed to support FUP families?
  • Service needs are determined on a case by case
  • HUD and CWLA suggest at least 60-90 days of
    follow-up services. NCHCW recommends access to
    support for up to two years post lease-up.
  • Most common services
  • on-going case management
  • family counseling, parenting classes
  • drug and alcohol treatment
  • budgeting

What kind of services can be expected for youth?
  • FUP requires that sites make available (or have
    the capacity to provide) the following services
    for youth
  • crisis intervention
  • case management/counseling
  • childcare
  • adult education
  • life skills
  • parenting skill training
  • vocational training
  • mental and physical health care
  • substance abuse treatment and,
  • client advocacy.

Some final thoughts on where to start
  • Pay a visit to the states that have made strides,
    learn from their mistakes and achievements.
  • States can use homeless services and housing
    dollars for youth but these young people are
    entitled to Title IV-E protection and funding
  • Collaborations are the fastest, most efficient
    way to create a range of housing options.
  • Urge child welfare agencies to contribute
    financially to housing costs for families but
    CWAs will never replace housers such as the PHA.

Contact information
  • Ruth White, MSSA
  • Executive Director
  • National Center for Housing and Child Welfare
  • 4707 Calvert Road
  • College Park, MD 20740
  • (301) 699-0151
  • rwhite_at_nchcw.org
  • www.nchcw.org
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