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March 2015Vol. 16, No. 2Training Module on Supportive Housing

A recent study conducted by the Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare's (CASCW's) Minnesota-Linking Information for Kids (Minn-LInK) program explores how supportive housing can positively impact outcomes for children involved in child welfare. CASCW created an online training module that discusses findings from the study, which examines how homelessness affects child outcomes, with a particular focus on how educational and child welfare indicators are affected.

The module begins by broadly discussing the problem of homelessness, specifically family and child homelessness, and draws a connection between families with unstable housing situations or who are homeless and increased rates of child welfare involvement. Homelessness programs and policies, such as the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act of 1978, are discussed, and housing and homelessness issues among Minnesota's children and families are addressed. The module explains that supportive housing is a kind of housing assistance that (1) focuses on homeless families with significant barriers to housing stability and long histories of homeless and (2) may provide services such as job training, drug and alcohol abuse programs, and case management.

In partnership with Hearth Connection, a Minnesota-based supportive housing organization, Minn-LInK conducted a 3-year longitudinal analysis comparing educational outcomes among four cohort groups of children who were homeless or highly mobile, some of whom were involved with supportive housing services and some who were not. Findings showed that supportive housing positively affected children's educational well-being in areas such as school mobility and attendance, and out-of-home placements for children involved in supportive housing groups were reduced by approximately 50 percent.

Upon completion of the training, participants are given the opportunity to earn Continuing Education Hours. To access "Supportive Housing and Implications for Child Welfare" and learn more about the study and its findings, visit