Can housing first strategies reduce family homelessness and improve child welfare outcomes?
Bringing Families Home (BFH) is an innovative program that provides housing first services — including rapid rehousing, permanent supportive housing and housing vouchers — to families experiencing homelessness when Child Protective Services are involved. The program was launched as a three-year pilot program in twelve California counties in 2017 and has since been extended through June 2022. As of January 2020, 950 families have been permanently housed with BFH services and 48 families have transitioned out of BFH into another community-based housing program.
Although numerous studies have documented that housing first strategies improve housing outcomes for individuals experiencing homelessness, there is less evidence on how housing first approaches affect homeless families, particularly those with child welfare needs or those living in high-cost housing markets.
This evaluation will compare outcomes of families served by BFH to outcomes of comparable families who did not receive BFH – families in the child welfare system and experiencing homelessness prior to the BFH launch, as well as families who did not receive BFH due to limited program resources. Leveraging administrative data from both the child welfare and homelessness systems, this project will examine patterns of family unification, child welfare referrals, homelessness, and housing assistance over a two-year period.
Professor Jane Mauldon (Principal Investigator) and Krista Ruffini
Results are expected in late 2021