Below is a list of indicators that in conjunction with one another describe families in need of supportive housing. The list is intended to help communities identify appropriate families and target their resources wisely.

Family has an extremely low-income (30% or below of Area Median Income)


Family has history of persistent and repeated contacts with child welfare system as indicated by any of the following:

  • Multiple prior reports (more than 4 total or 2 in the last 6 months) of maltreatment (either indicated or not). Reports include various types of neglect allegations
  • Family is under family court supervision (expensive and indicates more intense supervision needed)
  • At least one child has had more than one removal from caregiver custody
  • More than one minor child been removed from the caregiver custody in the past five years


 Caregiver has persistent challenges and little social support:

  • One or more chronic conditions, including but not limited to mental illness, substance use disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, or chronic physical health conditions
  • Other characteristics that place them at high-risk of child welfare system involvement include a recent history of domestic violence, caregiver is young adult (18-25), caregiver has left/been emancipated from foster care in last three years, family has one or more children diagnosed with special needs, or family has more than three children


Family has long-term or repeat pattern of homelessness and/or housing instability as evidenced by any of the following:

  • Family has been homeless (in shelter, street, or place not meant for human habitation) 2 or more times in the last two years or for the past six months
  • Family has had two or more moves in the last 12 months
  • Family is currently doubled-up living with family/friends
  • Caregiver has been in an institutional setting in the past year


Next: Strategies for Identifying Families

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