The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has announced a new $35 million initiative that seeks to reduce the number of children entering the child welfare system by providing fragile families with supportive housing and social services.
Jointly launched by the Administration for Children and Families, RWJF, and the Annie E. Casey and Edna McConnell Clark foundations, the initiative is modeled after the Corporation for Supportive Housing's Keeping Families Together program in New York City, which paired supportive housing with on-site case management and a comprehensive array of services for families experiencing chronic homelessness, substance abuse and mental health problems, and child welfare involvement. The new initiative will develop similar programs in five cities to be announced in the fall, providing families with a permanent home and the support they need to stay together.
The funding includes $25 million over five years in program support from ACF and an additional $10 million from the foundation partners to develop a formal evaluation process to measure the intervention's impact on housing stability, health, and social and emotional outcomes among children and caregivers, as well as the need for involvement with the child welfare system.
"By connecting an integrated set of services with a permanent home, supportive housing offers a powerful and cost-effective solution for stabilizing the lives of very fragile families," said RWJF president and CEO Risa Lavizzo-Mourey. "We are proud to partner with the Administration for Children and Families to demonstrate more widely this promising approach to strengthening families and preventing children's placement in the foster care system."