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Childhood Out-of-home Placement and Dynamics of Public Shelter Utilization Among Young Homeless Adults
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This study determined the prevalence of childhood experiences with child welfare supervision and placement among a cohort of 11,401 young sheltered homeless adults and assessed the associations between this prior involvement with child welfare services and the risk of experiencing recurrent and extended episodes of shelter use. This study used the administrative data from two New York City agencies: the Administration for Children's Services and the Department of Homeless Services. Overall, 29% had a childhood child welfare history, and 21% (74% of those with childhood child welfare histories) had histories of out-of-home placement through the child welfare system. Childhood out-of-home placement was associated with an increased number of days spent in shelters among family shelter users and with an increased likelihood of experiencing repeated shelter stays during early adulthood in both the family shelter and single-adult shelter groups. These findings underscore the need for more extensive support and housing services during early adulthood for persons with childhood child welfare histories. (Authors)
Using administrative data sets to understand the histories of involvement with child welfare systems, the authors found 29% of young homeless adults have histories of child welfare involvement, and 21% of young homeless adults have histories of out-of-home placements through the child welfare system. These results illustrate the importance of understanding the service and support needs of children and youth related to child welfare, as well as the importance of identifying critical gaps in service systems.
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A program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services