Active Projects

Educational Well-being of Children in Assisted Housing Programs

Description

Many families with school-aged children participate in assisted housing programs, but not much is known about how these programs help reduce the educational risks associated with residential instability. This project examines the links between assisted housing programs and educational outcomes over time. It goes on to consider other important factors like residential stability, school stability, and school and neighborhood quality that contribute to resilience or to more difficulties. Analyses use already-collected, integrated administrative data from a variety of agencies across five years as a cost-effective means of evaluating and understanding the impact of assisted housing.

The study considers two groups of students at each site starting in third and seventh grades, comparing those who received assisted housing to peers who have been carefully matched on demographic characteristics and levels of psychosocial risk. The design follows these students for five years as they progress through elementary, middle, and high school, making developmentally important transitions along the way. Analyses first test whether assisted housing programs are related to higher levels of academic achievement, better graduation rates, better attendance, and fewer suspensions. Where possible, sites will consider initial differences in these outcomes as well as differences in their trajectories or growth over time.

The study then magnifies the ways in which assisted housing programs may help promote and protect student success at school. A second set of analyses focuses on the possible mediational roles of neighborhood quality, school quality, residential stability, and school stability. We expect students in assisted housing programs will experience higher quality schools and neighborhoods, and greater residential and school stability. In turn, these differences will predict high levels of school success.

Sites

Philadelphia, PA
Pittsburgh, PA / Allegheny County
South Carolina (State)
Washington (State)
Milwaukee, WI
New York, NY

Federal Agency Involvement

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
Institute of Education Sciences (Advisory role, John Easton, Director)

Example Integrated Data Sources

Assisted Housing Program Use (HUD Records)
Educational Data (School District Records)
Address (School District Records, Health and Human Services Records)
Low-Income Status (Public Assistance Eligibility, Federal School Lunch Program)

Support

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
The Gates Foundation

Anticipated Completion Date

Spring, 2015


Multi-site Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare Data Integration Project

Description

Children who experience child welfare involvement are at greater risk for later becoming involved with the juvenile justice system, and children who are served by both systems tend to require higher levels of other services at great cost to public service providers. This study examines multiple birth cohorts of children in three metropolitan areas to understand the patterns and factors that predict crossover from child welfare to juvenile justice services.

This project focuses on “dually involved” or “crossover” youth –those youth involved in both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. Although few studies exist, the available information suggests that these youth face greater challenges than those in either juvenile justice or child welfare systems alone. Practitioners and policymakers assert that system integration and interagency collaboration is needed when serving dually involved youth. This allows agencies to achieve better outcomes for youth and families while not working at cross-purposes. In particular, children involved with child welfare services have been identified as an important at-risk group for delinquency prevention efforts.

This project aims to inform policy and practice while demonstrating the utility of administrative data for addressing research questions. From a policy perspective, there are very high human and economic costs associated with children and youth entering either of these systems, in addition to compounded costs for the dually involved. Identifying practices that can help foster children avoid restrictive and expensive institutional care would make an importance contribution. Though dually involved youth are becoming a focus of research and policy, there is still much to be learned about this population. This includes the need for data on the scope of the population – for example how many youth are dually involved either concurrently or at some point in time, what is the historical involvement of youth in either system, what are the characteristics of dually involved youth, and do these differ from those youth involved in only one system? This multi-site analysis of administrative data will contribute to the growing body of knowledge on and policy and practice implications for dually involved youth.

Sites

Case Western Reserve University representing Cuyahoga County/Cleveland, OH
Chapin Hall of the University of Chicago representing Cook County/Chicago, IL
New York, NY

Integrated Data Sources

Child Welfare Agency Records
Juvenile Justice Records

Support

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Anticipated Completion Date

Fall, 2012–PROJECT IS COMPLETE


Service Use and Outcomes for Veterans and Non-Veterans after Release from Jail in Three Cities

Description

Military Veterans make up about nine percent of the US jail and prison population. This study looks at groups of Veterans and non-Veterans recently released from incarceration to understand whether access to Veterans’ services improves outcomes such as lower rates of re-incarceration, lower rates of homelessness, and higher levels of engagement with services.

Incarcerated Veterans, like their non-Veteran counterparts, face substantial challenges when they are released from jail or prison and subsequently must confront the challenges of re-entering society. Furthermore, persons exiting jail continue to use substantial amounts of public criminal justice, social service, and health care resources. Veterans, however, have access to a range of services available through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) that include programs focusing on justice-involved Veterans; housing and homelessness-related services; health and behavioral health services; and benefits. These services represent unique opportunities for Veterans that are not available to the rest of this re-entering population. This study considers groups of individuals as they are released from jail or prison and enter the community in three cities – Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and Tampa. Analyses use administrative records from an array of sources (including the VA) to examine a series of post-release outcomes to assess whether or not Veterans who access VA services have better outcomes in such areas as re-incarceration, homelessness, and services engagement.

Sites

University of South Florida representing Hillsborough County/Tampa, Florida
Philadelphia, PA
Los Angeles County, CA

Collaborating Federal Agency

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Example Integrated Data Sources

Criminal Justice Records
Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) Records
Public Assistance Records
Public Health and Mental Health Provider Records
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Records (from multiple VA administrative data sources)

Support

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Anticipated Completion Date

Summer, 2015