Our new Minn-LInK report (full version and brief) highlights a study conducted through our Center, in partnership with Hearth Connection, that shows the positive impact supportive housing has on educational outcomes and overall child well being for children in homeless families. The children involved in this study were enrolled in Hearth Connection's supportive housing program across Minnesota. Over time, these children experienced decreased maltreatment reports, determination of maltreatment, and out-of-home placements, while their homeless peers actually saw an increase in these areas.
Although future research is needed on this topic, the results of the study have implications for child welfare policy in Minnesota and nationwide. With the increasing number of children and families facing homelessness nationwide, policymakers need to be aware of interventions and supports that benefit homeless children in a cost-effective way. This study indicates that supportive housing is one such intervention. One recommendation from this study was for policymakers "to find ways to increase or maintain funding avenues for the provision of supportive housing services." In doing so, the study states that the need for other, more costly services, such as child protection or juvenile justice interventions, may be reduced, thereby saving money in the long run.
Do you have any experience with children in supportive housing programs? What other policy implications come to mind when reading this report?
Feel free to comment!