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Keeping Families Together

Keeping Families Together is an innovative program bringing together housing providers and child welfare agencies to strengthen society’s most vulnerable families and protect our children.

Deeply entrenched poverty and housing instability are often linked to child neglect, child welfare involvement and family separation. CSH’s Keeping Families Together initiative uses supportive housing to offer stability to families with children who are in danger. By providing essential supports (housing + services) to vulnerable families, this program shows real promise in reducing public costs and reuniting children with their families in a safe, stable environment.

“This is way different than the shelter,” says Keeping Families Together dad, Jose. “They help you out here.”

Keeping Families Together mom Michelle says “I don’t know what I would do without the services here.”

Few events are more traumatic for children than being removed from their families and entered into the foster care system. Such children often go on to lead deeply troubled lives. Research shows that they are at higher risk for impaired neurodevelopment, psychiatric problems, abuse, poverty, homelessness, incarceration, suicide and early death.

With the generous support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, CSH developed and implemented the Keeping Families Together pilot program in 2010. CSH’s Keeping Families Together initiative uses supportive housing to offer stability to families with children who are at risk of recurring involvement in the child welfare system. Now, CSH is working to bring Keeping Families Together to more communities.

Impact and Outcomes

Data from the Keeping Families Together evaluation show that supportive housing can stabilize vulnerable families, creating safe and healthy environments for children.

Child welfare involvement among Keeping Families Together families declined significantly during the pilot and most families had no new abuse or neglect cases after moving to supportive housing. Six children were reunited with their families from foster care—and were still with them when the pilot ended. Average school attendance improved steadily among Keeping Families Together children.

The annual public cost of the Keeping Families Together pilot in New York City, which included operating and supportive services costs, was three dollars a day.

Just $3 a day can keep children safe and make families healthier.

Read about Keeping Families Together and the Child Welfare and Supportive Housing Resource Center

Watch the Keeping Families Together video

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT KEEPING FAMILIES TOGETHERCONTACT ALISON HARTE, CSH ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR.

 

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