Keeping Families Together
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.
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. By providing an essential support to families that present the highest cost to society, this program shows real promise in reducing expenses and reuniting children with their families in a safe, stable environment.
With the generous support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, CSH developed and implemented a pilot program in New York City in 2010. 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, so that they become 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 school children.
The annual public cost of the Keeping Families Together pilot in New York City, which included operating and supportive services costs, was 3 dollars a day.
Just $3 a day can keep children safe and make families healthier.
TO LEARN MORE ABOUT KEEPING FAMILIES TOGETHER, CONTACT ALISON HARTE, CSH ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR.
- Keeping Families Together Overview
- Keeping Families Together Cost Analysis
- Family Snapshots: Keeping Families Together
- Supportive Housing Helps Keep Families Together
- Keeping Families Together Pilot Evaluation Report
“This is way different than the shelter,” says Keeping Families Together dad, Jose. “They help you out here.”