The National Center for Housing and Child Welfare (NCHCW) links housing resources and knowledge to child welfare agencies in order to improve family functioning, prevent family homelessness, and reduce the need for out-of-home placement. The Center’s work also includes a focus on youth permanency and independent living to ensure that older youth in foster care have a connection to permanent family as well as a solid plan for stable housing and services to help them be successful as adults.
The Center works at the local, regional, and national level to create cross-agency partnerships to enable communities to respond appropriately to families and youth who are caught at the intersection of homelessness and child welfare. Essentially, our work creates progress through partnerships.
NCHCW creates the conditions necessary for these partnerships to thrive on three key levels:
Policy: The Center produces millions of dollars of housing subsidies and supportive services by working closely with Congress and policy makers at HHS, HUD, OMB and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness. For example, between 2008 and 2009, The Center successfully lobbied for $50 million in new Section 8 vouchers for child welfare families and youth.
System: The Center convenes public housing authorities, homeless service providers, and child welfare agencies through on-site training and technical assistance to free-up housing resources for vulnerable families and youth. Through our work, communities around the country have dedicating housing subsidies and services to the child welfare system, finding that the practice is effective and results in immediate cost-savings.
Practice: The Center provides cross-training front line shelter, housing authority, and child welfare staff to prevent homelessness and child maltreatment using theKeeping Families Together and Safe curriculum. Workers who participate in this training report increased awareness of community resources, improved knowledge of the limits and benefits of other systems, and increased levels of self-efficacy in addressing the presenting problems of the families on their caseload.