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National Clearinghouse on Homeless Youth and Families

Program Effectiveness

Recruitment and Retention of Homeless Youth in a Substance Use and HIV-risk Reduction Program

Recruitment and Retention of Homeless Youth in a Substance Use and HIV-risk Reduction Program
Electronically published journal article, but not part of an issue

No

Abstract

This journal article describes methods used to recruit and retain a sample of 200 homeless youth for a four-session substance use and sexual risk reduction program at two drop-in centers in Los Angeles. Using unconventional methods, the researchers retained 91 percent of the full sample at a three-month follow-up assessment with 79 percent of the participants attending multiple sessions. The authors found that using structured materials with a small, dedicated staff helped to reach a higher retention rate with this at-risk population. This article describes the challenges researchers encounter when conducting intervention studies with homeless youth due to substance abuse, mental health problems, wariness of authority figures, and frequent relocations. It is especially challenging to retain this population across multiple program sessions and to relocate them for subsequent follow-up assessments. These retention issues can jeopardize a study’s data and conclusions. 

Accession number
25468
Authors
Garvey, R., Pedersen, E.R., DAmico, E.J., Ewing, B.A., Tucker, J.S.
Type new
Journal Article
Journal Name

Field Methods

Volume new
30
Year published new
2018
Availability

The full-text article is available for free download at: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/1525822X17728346

Missed Opportunities: Evidence on Interventions for Addressing Youth Homelessness

Missed Opportunities: Evidence on Interventions for Addressing Youth Homelessness
Electronically published journal article, but not part of an issue

No

Abstract

This is the eighth in a series of Research-to-Impact briefs by Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago to understand and address youth homelessness. This brief presents the results of a literature review conducted to determine what evidence exists on the effectiveness of programs and practices to prevent youth homelessness and improve various outcomes. The researchers selected 62 studies involving youth homelessness, which evaluated 51 programs, to develop an initial evidence base. This brief outlines the six key findings from this systematic review and the researchers recommendations to expand the evidence base for youth homelessness interventions. These include: 1. A small evidence base shows that youth homeless is preventable; 2. Rental assistance and supportive housing programs show promising results; 3. Most evaluations focus on interventions that address well-being and risk behaviors and show positive results; 4. Family-based interventions show positive results for behavioral health, but more evidence is needed; 5. There is little evidence on interventions to help youth experiencing homelessness achieve better employment outcomes; and 6. There is an alarming mismatch between investments in interventions and their evaluation. (author abstract modified)

Accession number
25821
Authors
Morton, M.H., Kugley, S., Epstein, R.A., Farrell, A.F.
Type new
Brief
Organization

Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago

Series
Research-to-Impact Briefs
Year published new
2019
Availability

Available for free download on the Chapin Hall website at: https://www.chapinhall.org/research/voices-evidence-review/

Family Interventions for Youth Experiencing or at Risk of Homelessness

Family Interventions for Youth Experiencing or at Risk of Homelessness
Electronically published journal article, but not part of an issue

No

Abstract

This report summarizes existing evidence on family intervention strategies for youth experiencing or at risk of homelessness. The authors conducted a systematic literature review of research since 2000 that focuses on family intervention strategies for youth ages 12 to 24 within the runaway and homeless youth, child welfare, juvenile justice, and education sectors. They also conducted key informant interviews with advocates, technical assistance providers, and service providers. Each of the 49 identified interventions was rated based on the rigor of its design and classified as evidence-based, evidence-informed, promising, emerging, or of interest. Interventions were also grouped into three categories--prevention, reunification, or reconnection--and assessed for positive effects and statistical significance. Six interventions were classified as evidence-based (Ecologically Based Family Therapy and Functional Family Therapy) or evidence-informed (Multidimensional Family Therapy, Multisystemic Therapy, Treatment Foster Care Oregon, and Support to Reunite, Involve, and Value Each Other). Results indicate that research has uncovered a few effective family intervention strategies that provide insight into what makes these strategies successful, but more research is needed to evaluate those targeted specifically to youth experiencing or at risk of homelessness. More research is also needed on how to target family interventions to key subgroups such as youth who are racial and ethnic minorities and/or LGBTQ.   

Accession number
25404
Authors
Pergamit, M., Gelatt, J., Stratford, B., Beckwith, S., Martin, M.C.
Type new
Paper/Research Report
Organization

Urban Institute, Washington, DC

Year published new
2016
Availability

Available free of charge from HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation: https://aspe.hhs.gov/system/files/pdf/205401/FamilyInterventions.pdf.

Evaluation of Domestic Victims of Human Trafficking Demonstration Projects: Final Report From the First Cohort of Projects

Evaluation of Domestic Victims of Human Trafficking Demonstration Projects: Final Report From the First Cohort of Projects
Electronically published journal article, but not part of an issue

No

Abstract

This report documents the experiences of the first cohort of Domestic Victims of Human Trafficking Demonstration Projects awarded as cooperative agreements in 2014. The intent of the demonstration program is to enhance organizational and community capacity to identify domestic victims of human trafficking and deliver comprehensive case management and trauma-informed, culturally relevant services through a system of referrals and the formation of community partnerships. The three projects were located in Maricopa and Pima Counties, AZ, New York City, and Salt Lake City, UT. Key findings of the cross-site process evaluation include: 1) Projects undertook a variety of activities and collaborated with numerous partners to develop and expand organizational and community capacity to identify and serve trafficking victims; 2) Projects diverse backgrounds, target populations, and partners shaped implementation of unique configurations and service models across projects; 3) 341 clients participated in case management services, 95 percent of whom were sex trafficked and 25 percent were labor trafficked; and 4) Projects met many clients needs; however, lack of appropriate, accessible services and individual-level client factors were key barriers to service engagement and delivery.  

Accession number
25412
Authors
Walters, J.H., Krieger, K., Kluckman, M., Feinberg, R., Orme, S., Asefnia, N., Gremminger, M., Gibbs, D.
Type new
Paper/Research Report
Organization

RTI International, Research Triangle Park, NC

Year published new
2017
Availability

Available free of charge from the Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/opre/research/project/evaluation-of-domestic-vi….

Do Programs for Runaway and Homeless Youth Work? A Qualitative Exploration From the Perspective of Youth Clients in Diverse Settings

Do Programs for Runaway and Homeless Youth Work? A Qualitative Exploration From the Perspective of Youth Clients in Diverse Settings
Electronically published journal article, but not part of an issue

Yes

Abstract

This article presents findings from a cross-sectional, qualitative, descriptive study, grounded in the positive youth development approach and the Youth Program Quality Assessment model, to examine the effectiveness of specialized settings designed to serve runaway and homeless youth (RHY). From a larger sample of 29 RHY-specific settings across New York State, youth ages 16 to 21 (n=37) from 11 settings were purposively sampled for semi-structured in-depth interviews on their transitions into homelessness, experiences in RHY-settings, and unmet needs. The findings show the population-tailored approaches of RHY-specific settings are vital to engaging and serving RHY due to this uniquely challenged population that is often distrustful of service settings and professional adults and skilled at surviving independently. Four major themes regarding the positive effects of RHY settings emerged: 1) engaging with an RHY setting was emotionally challenging and frightening for youth, and thus the experiences of safety and services tailored to RHY needs were critical; 2) instrumental support from staff was vital and most effective when received in a context of emotional support; 3) RHY were skilled at survival on the streets, but benefited from socialization into more traditional systems to foster future independent living; and 4) follow-through and aftercare were needed as youth transitioned out of services. With respect to gaps in settings, the RHY participants discussed their desire for more balance between needing structure and wanting autonomy and the lack of RHY input into program governance. This study advances the understanding of RHY, their service needs, and the ways settings meet these needs.

Accession number
25535
Authors
Gwadz, M., Freeman, R.M., Kutnick, A.H., Silverman, E., Ritchie, A.S., Cleland, C.M., Leonard, N.R., Sringagesh, A., Powlovich, J., Bolas, J.
Type new
Journal Article
Journal Name

Frontiers in Public Health

Series
Children and Health
Year published new
2018
Availability

Full-text article available for free download at: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpubh.2018.00112/full

Criteria and Benchmarks for Achieving the Goal of Ending Youth Homelessness

Criteria and Benchmarks for Achieving the Goal of Ending Youth Homelessness
Electronically published journal article, but not part of an issue

No

Abstract

This brief provides specific criteria and benchmarks for ending unaccompanied youth homelessness in order to help guide communities as they implement a coordinated community response. The criteria and benchmarks are intended to help communities drive down the number of unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness while building long-term solutions that can effectively respond to future needs. Criteria include: 1) The community identifies all unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness, 2) The community uses prevention and diversion strategies whenever possible and otherwise provides immediate access to low-barrier crisis housing and services to any youth who needs and wants it, 3) The community uses coordinated entry processes to effectively link all youth experiencing homelessness to housing and services solutions that are tailored to their needs, 4) The community acts with urgency to swiftly assist youth to move into permanent or non-time-limited housing options with appropriate services and supports, and 5) The community has resources, plans, and system capacity in place to continue to prevent and quickly end future experiences of homelessness among youth. The benchmarks included in the brief allow communities to measure their progress against established, specific goals. 

Accession number
25400
Authors
United States Interagency Council on Homelessness
Type new
Brief
Year published new
2017
Availability

Available free of charge at the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) website: https://www.usich.gov/resources/uploads/asset_library/Youth_Criteria_Be….