Developing a Coordinated Youth Housing Stability Program for Juvenile Courts
This journal article describes a study conducted by a research-practice partnership between a university and a mid-sized county court in Washington State. The purpose of the study was to develop a model for reducing homelessness from within the juvenile justice system. Using a community-based participatory approach, the study analyzed data from local juvenile filings in 2017 (n=555), statewide juvenile court data from 2016 (n=6,791) and 2017 (n=6,866), and qualitative data from workgroup meetings. These data indicate that 20% to 50% of the youth who filed in juvenile court had at least one prior episode of running away or being kicked out of the home. The qualitative data revealed concerns related to using probation to address youth homelessness, the need for better methods of identification, and a lack of intensive family-based services to prevent housing instability. The article presents the juvenile court-based model and lessons learned from the research-practice partnership.