While in many instances foster care is entirely appropriate in order to ensure the safety and well-being of children, child removal is the option of last resort for the child welfare agency. Research indicates that Keeping Families Together is generally better for children, parents and the community.
What leads to the dissolution of families and how can it be prevented? How can highly vulnerable families where children are in danger of neglect and abuse be strengthened, and become safer and healthy environments?
These were among the questions that the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation considered as they sought to address the dilemma of family disruption due to the removal of a child into foster care. To that end, the Foundation partnered with CSH in 2007 under a common mission: when we focus on the care of the family as a whole, providing them with essential intervention services and support, we can keep children together with their families in a safer, healthier, more stable home. And from that vision, Keeping Families Together was born.
There are core features of supportive housing that should be integral to any Keeping Families Together model. Furthermore, there are important service considerations that are different in child-welfare focused supportive housing. This section includes CSH recommendations based on lessons learned from 20 years of experience working with supportive housing providers.