The goal of this project is to inform policies and practices aimed at preventing youth homelessness. It builds on a pilot project, “Characteristics of Former Foster Youth Receiving Homeless Services” by expanding innovative administrative data linkages to more systems that serve youth experiencing homelessness.
The Colorado Office of Respondent Parents’ Counsel (ORPC) provides legal advocacy services to indigent parents involved in child welfare proceedings. The project is evaluating the effectiveness of interdisciplinary teams. This project is also building the internal capacity of ORPC to routinely evaluate the effectiveness of representation models and use evaluation findings to inform strategic planning.
The Colorado Lab is dedicated to creating actionable research. A recent effort to create a snapshot of the Early Childhood Education (ECE) workforce, funded by the Piton Foundation and the Temple Hoyne Buell Foundation, was no exception. The Snapshot Report demonstrated that “high turnover in the field exacerbates the workforce shortage and hinders childcare quality,” and pointed to low pay as a contributing factor.
In the early days of the pandemic, many child care centers and other educational institutions temporarily shut down, while essential workers, particularly in the health care industry, desperately needed care for their own children. Countless early childhood educators lost their jobs in the closures, yet centers that remained open to care for the children of essential workers faced significant staff shortages. But how to fill these diverse and dispersed needs, especially during a public health crisis?
Preventing homelessness of youth formerly in foster care begins with understanding characteristics of those most at risk. This project connects child welfare to homeless services data in the Denver metro area to inform policies and practices aimed at ensuring youth aging out of foster care have stable housing.