Emphasis on Reducing Risk and Increasing Protection
On June 12, 2012, the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness met with a focus on what federal agencies and policymakers know about youth homelessness and next steps in the work to end youth homelessness by 2020.
USICH Chair and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was joined by Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Director of the Corporation for National and Community Service Wendy Spencer, and representatives from 18 member agencies.
The meeting marked a new framework for how to approach the problem of youth homelessness in a more coordinated and effective way across different disciplines working with this population.
The framework includes a new, preliminary intervention model that builds on knowledge of effective, research-based interventions for each subgroup of youth. The premise of the model is that interventions that reduce risk factors and increase protective factors will lead to these improved outcomes. The intervention model presents a way to consider an individual youth’s risk and protective factors to tailor interventions expressly aimed at influencing core outcomes for youth experiencing homelessness (stable housing, permanent connections, social-emotional well-being, education and employment).
Using this framework as a guide, stakeholders at the federal, state, and local levels can begin to work collaboratively with all agencies and programs that serve youth experiencing homelessness to make meaningful and measureable improvements in core outcomes for youth.
Ultimately, ending youth homelessness requires a collaborative, systematic approach-federally and locally- that includes targeted homelessness assistance and mainstream systems. This framework is an extremely positive step forward in USICH’s collaborative work to understand the scope and interventions necessary to end youth homelessness by 2020.
Click here to read more about the meeting and about the USICH’s related work.