Supportive Housing Interventions in Connecticut Found to Decrease Foster Care Placements

From 2012-2018, the Connecticut Department of Children and Families (DCF), and its core partners (The Connection, Inc. (TCI), the University of Connecticut, and Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago) planned, developed, implemented, and evaluated a supportive housing (SH) intervention for families in the child welfare system. This federally-funded demonstration project capitalized on a longstanding statewide SH program and synergized a number of emergent practices and partnerships in the state. A Housing and Child Welfare Collaborative co- chaired by state leaders served as the project advisory board; this group informed, oversaw, promoted, and supported project aims and led efforts toward systems integration and sustainability, policy and legislation, and family economic security and well-being. 

Using a randomized controlled trial design, [researchers] tested experimental contrasts among three groups: (1) the existing statewide SH model that included routine access to housing (voucher) and case management, Program Supportive Housing for Families (PSHF); (2) an intensive treatment SH model with a higher dosage of case management, family teaming, and access to a vocational specialist, Intensive Supportive Housing for Families (ISHF); and (3) a wait list control group, who received child welfare services in a business as usual (BAU) condition. Families enrolled in the ISHF condition had the benefit of assured access to state rental assistance program (RAP) vouchers that were set aside for the demonstration.

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