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Young Children & Homelessness Convening October 10, 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "Young Children & Homelessness Convening October 10, 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 Young Children & Homelessness Convening October 10, 2013

2 Welcome Lynn Haglin Vice President, Northland Foundation

3 Monica Idzelis Rothe Research Scientist, Wilder Research Overview of Family Homelessness in Minnesota Michelle Decker Gerrard Research Manager, Wilder Research

4 Wilder Research Overview of family homelessness in Minnesota from the 2012 survey Prepared for Start Early Funders Coalition October 10, 2013 Presented by Michelle Decker Gerrard and Monica Idzelis Rothe

5  Point in time survey, every 3 years  Trained volunteer interviewers On October 25, 2012:  Interviews in >250 shelters and programs  Outreach locations in >50 cities, towns, and outlying areas About the statewide study

6 One-night study counts

7  Increase in numbers mainly accounted for by –Children with their parents (up 9%) –Older adults (age 55+)  22% increase in 2-parent families  Emergency shelter use up by 27% What is new?

8  Long-term health issues  Inability to afford housing  Racial disparities  Traumatic experiences in childhood  Violence and exploitation  Transition years (15-21) are time of greatest risk What does not change?

9 Children with their parents 35% Unaccompanied minors age 12-17 1% Unaccompanied young adults age 18-21 10% Adult males age 22 or older 29% Adult females age 22 or older 25% Age groups

10 Age 0-5 Age 6-12 Age 13-17 Ages of children with their parents

11 Children and families

12 Where homeless children were counted Battered women 11% Emergency shelter 24% Transitional housing 55% Not in shelter 11%

13  On a single night, 1,747 families were counted with 3,546 children  Besides children who are homeless with their parents, at least another 2,000 are affected by a parent’s homelessness but are not with them Children and families: counts

14  72% of children are with their mom; 4% are with their dad; and 24% are with both  29% of youth (age 21 and under) are parents (for female youth 39%); 21% have their children with them  Median age for homeless parents is 29 Children and families: demographics

15 Adults (18+) Homeless parents MN 9%1%American Indian 2%3%Asian American 50%5%Black 30%86% White (non-Hispanic) 9%3% Other, including multi-racial 8%4% Hispanic (any race) Parents: racial disparities

16  92% of parents had been homeless at least a month  9% had spent at least one night outside/car etc. in the past 30 days  25% had spent at least one night doubled-up  31% of parents first experienced homelessness as a child Parents: homelessness history

17  52% of parents have serious mental health problems  48% have chronic physical health problems  9% have chemical dependency issues Parents: health problems

18  72% had lived in MN for more than 2 years  55% are on waiting list for Section 8 or subsidized housing  33% are employed; 11% full-time (35 or more hours/week)  93% receive food stamps/SNAP, 47% WIC, and 27% child care assistance  47% were physically or sexually abused as a child or youth Parents: other characteristics

19 Percent of parents who could not get needed care for their children in the past year:  Dental care (10%)  Physical health care (6%)  Mental health care (5%) Health care needs of children with parents

20 Percent of parents who report at least one child with a chronic or severe problem:  Emotional or behavioral (26%)  Physical health problem (15%) Other health related needs

21 Percent of parents who report:  Children skipped a meal in the past month because there was not money to buy food (11%)  Unable to get regular child care when needed in the past year (34%) Other needs of children

22  7 in 10 families had young children with them (ages 0-5) Of those with young children (age 0-5):  42% have a child who is enrolled in Head Start or an early childhood program; 15% of these report that their children have difficulty attending because of their housing situation Young children (age 0-5)

23  Monthly median income of homeless adults –Metro $381 –Greater MN $403  Fair market rent for a one bedroom apartment –Metro $745 –Greater MN$531 Housing affordability gap

24  Some improvement among groups targeted for solutions –Single long-term homeless adults –Veterans  Children are able to get to and stay in school  Newly allocated money in Minnesota for housing  Solutions address systems, not just individuals What gives us hope?

25  Special reports on youth, American Indian reservation homelessness, and veterans  Seeking funding for a special report on homeless families Next steps

26 Wilder Research To learn more about homelessness in Minnesota go to

27 Dr. Ann Masten, Ph.D. Professor of Child Psychology University of Minnesota Keynote Address: Resilience and Homeless Children

28 Risk and Resilience in Homeless and Highly Mobile Children Early Childhood as a Window of Opportunity Ann S. Masten University of Minnesota October 10, 2013 Start Early Convening on Young Children and Homelessness

29 A translational research story Beginning Collaborating Evolving Intervening

30 RESILIENCE Capacity of a system to adapt successfully to significant disturbances that threaten its adaptive function, viability, or development

31 The beginning… 1980s - awareness 1988 - invitation 1989 - first study 1990s - series of small collaborative studies Art by Donna Miliotis

32 Homeless compared to housed but similar families More recent stressful life events Children had more fears (deprivation) More school changes and disrupted lives Similar but more extreme levels of risk Parents expressed more distress Child problems relate to parent distress, risk Masten et al 1993

33 Variation in cumulative risk Risk Factors Low education Single parent Parent died Parents divorced Foster care Maltreatment Saw violence See Masten & Sesma 1999 CURA Reporter

34 Conclusions from early work Homelessness indicates high cumulative risk High risk for health, school, behavior problems Homeless similar to other disadvantaged families but higher on a risk continuum Variation in risk and function among homeless children Resilience related to parenting, cognitive skills

35 Fast forward to recent research New concerns New opportunities Translational goals Fully collaborative In 2010/2011 over one million American school children were identified as homeless by Federal guidelines

36 THE BIG PICTURE Analyzing administrative data

37 General - Norm, & …RPM Free meals HHM Reading score 46% 12% 75% 21% Reading scores 2005 to 2009 26,501 students Cutuli et al 2013 Child Development 84, 841-857

38 HHM student individual reading scores National avg Homeless avg Reading score

39 MATH 26,474 students General Norm & RPM Free meals HHM Math score 18 th percentile avg score 12 th 76 th 79 th

40 Additional findings 45% of HHM show academic resilience –Scoring in the normal range or higher all tests Slow down in growth related to HHM status –Comparing year following HHM with other years –Growth rate in math (but not reading) slows –Consistent with acute disturbance as well as chronic risk

41 What makes a difference? Attendance Minority status English language learner Earlier achievement

42 First grade reading skills Shows a similar risk gradient Predicts later achievement and growth in math and reading Shows protective effects for high-risk students (interactions) on free lunch or homeless Herbers et al 2012 Educational Researcher, 41, 366-374 High Low

43 Administrative data limitations Schools cannot collect data on key protective influences due to time burden and cost

44 A CLOSER LOOK AT WHAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE Potentially malleable protective factors

45 Important…malleable…interrelated Child executive function (EF) skills Parenting Stress

46 Executive Function  Neurocognitive processes involved in goal- directed control of attention, thought, actions (cognitive control)  Working memory  Cognitive flexibility  Inhibitory control  Needed to succeed in school pay attention…control emotions… wait turn… follow instructions…listen to teacher…plan… switch from one activity to another

47 Why EF? Long implicated in resilience Important for learning Affected by “toxic stress” Related to good parenting Related to competence over time Develops rapidly in preschoolers Promising malleability graph courtesy of Stephanie Carlson

48 Neural effects of training See Espinet et al. 2013 graph courtesy of Philip David Zelazo

49 Sample of findings Executive function task performance –Predicts “child on task” observations –Predicts school success over & above IQ –Related to good parenting –Mediates relation of parenting to school outcomes ACEs much higher than State averages Cortisol (a stress hormone; salivary) –Related to worse child executive function (EF) Parenting –Correlate and protective factor for achievement –Related to parent EF as well child EF skills Asthma –High rates (28%) –Related to academic and behavior problems

50 Resilient children have better executive function skills Obradović 2010 Masten et al 2012 Resilient

51 Parenting Quality Moderates Risk Herbers et al., 2011

52 Children cannot wait

53 Interventions to consider Reduce risk and stress –Prevent homeless episodes –Stabilize housing and schooling –Reduce hunger and food insecurity Increase resources –Access to quality programs, housing, health care –High quality education (starting early) –Tutoring and summer programs Promote protective processes –Effective parenting –Executive function skills –Teacher-child relationships See Masten 2011

54 PROMOTING SCHOOL SUCCESS Targeting executive function

55 Ready? Set. Go! Boosting readiness for Kindergarten in homeless children living in emergency shelter –Focused on executive function skills –Strategically timed –Implemented August 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 –Inspired a new IES-funded research project

56 IES project PIs = Masten + Carlson + Zelazo Promoting EF in preschool Developing components collaboratively Curriculum + Parent education + individual child training Community Advisory Board Design team –Teachers & researchers –Pooled expertise EF Teaching preschoolers Teacher training Preventive intervention Risk and resilience Context

57 IES Developmental Project Iterative process –Design – try – refine – try again - repeat –One component to isolate effects –All components to evaluate promise Leading to –Pilot study –Randomized efficacy trial –Effectiveness trial

58 HHM is a window on risks, barriers, safety gaps Mobile children key for closing achievement gaps Executive function skills central to school success Promoting resilience is possible Observations from recent HHM studies

59 Windows of Early Opportunity Preventing stress Protecting brain development Promoting tools for learning Supporting parents

60 Minnesotans who opened their lives to inform and help others Collaborators in community and university – and especially to –People Serving People; The Family Partnership; Mary’s Place; St. Anne’s Place –Minneapolis and Saint Paul Public Schools –Professors Stephanie Carlson, Abi Gewirtz, Megan Gunnar, Jeff Long, Philip David Zelazo –Many graduate and undergraduate students Funders who supported the research discussed in this talk –Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) –Center for Personalized Prevention Research (NIMH supported) –Irving B. Harris Professorship; McKnight University Professorships –Institute of Education Sciences –National Science Foundation (NSF) –National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) –Sauer Children’s Renew Foundation All of you for listening! Thank you!

61 Expert Panel Denise Mayotte- Panel Moderator Executive Director, The Shelter Arms Foundation Angela Kimball Education Services Manager, People Serving People Nancy Cashman Supporting Housing Director, Center City Housing- Duluth Ryan Strack Early Learning System Coordinator, School District 622 (North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale)


63 PROGRAM DESCRIPTION The People Serving People Early Childhood Development Program is licensed by the state of Minnesota’s Department of Human Services and a Parent Aware 4 Star rated program. Our center serves up to 52 children per day in the following age groups: -Infants:Ages 6 weeks – 15 months -Toddlers:Ages 16 months – 2 years -Preschool Prep:Ages 2 ½ years – 3 ½ years -Preschool:Ages 3 years – 5 years Program hours are Monday thru Friday 8:30am – 4:30 PM

64 CURRICULUM *Teacher created curriculums to meet the unique challenges of our setting. *Average stay is 37 days *New kids always coming and kids always moving out *Children have varied backgrounds and previous experiences *Children exhibit unique challenges due to living with high levels of stress. *Kids Resiliency Education (KRE), Creative Curriculum, and Building Language for Literacy were used as resources.

65 Primary focus is to provide a calming and secure environment with consistent routines where children feel safe and are able to thrive and learn. Daily schedules include typical preschool activities, self-directed learning (free play), large and small group lessons, large motor, snacks/lunch, and rest time. The primary goal is to provide a learning environment where the children can be successful. Skill focuses center around social/emotional development and include yoga, deep breathing exercises, emotion recognition activities, and movement/music; and Executive Function activities such as Bear/Dragon, BLINK, I Spy and freeze dancing. CURRICULUM CONTINUED

66 ASSESSMENT The Creative Curriculum Gold Assessment tool is used for all 4 classrooms to track children’s growth We see about 25% growth in children’s scores throughout their stay. Assessments are done frequently, every 1-2 weeks, to track progress and account for the limited time we have with the children.

67 PARTNERSHIPS People Serving People partners with various organizations to support families while they are in shelter, as well as connect them to community resources. * University of Minnesota Institute of Child Development *Minneapolis Public Schools -Preschool Screening and Early Intervention * St. David's Center for Children *Metro State *St. Kate’s nursing students *MacPhail Center for Music * Minneapolis Crisis Nursery

68 How can we assure our impact is sustained? We believe that parents are their children’s #1 influence and primary educator. We have a Parent Engagement coordinator who is licensed in Parent Education working closely with the Early Childhood Teaches to support parents. Both individual sessions and parenting groups are offered. Scholarships to high quality early childhood programming after their stay at PSP EXTENDING OUR IMPACT

69 ENDING THE CYCLE Our ultimate goal is to permanently end a family’s homelessness with one visit to our shelter, and end the cycle of homelessness for the children.

70 Low Income Housing Developer Owner manager supportive service provider Currently owns 421 Units Expanded State wide in 2009 Serves most difficult to house Homeless Family supportive housing Chronic alcoholic homeless Partner based programming Center City Housing Corp

71 Supportive Housing For Homeless Families with children Currently manage 32 units  21 transitional housing  11 permanent supportive housing 44 new units beginning construction

72 Social/emotional/developmental delays Highly mobile and episodes of homelessness Lacking positive parenting skills and knowledge World of violence and chaos The Homeless Experience

73 The Housing Experience TOTS Programming Addresses needs Develop individual plan for each child Referrals to other providers Parenting skills at parents current level of understanding Addresses attachment issues Success: 3 plus years of housing stability the story of Anilah and Nevaeh

74 Start Early Funders Coalition Presentation October 10, 2013 Wilder Foundation Ryan Strack, School District 622

75 Overview of School District 622 Serve 11,000 school-age students East metro inner-ring suburbs According to census, about 3500 children birth to kindergarten age 213 K-12 students experiencing homelessness (SY 12-13) 68 B-5 children experiencing homelessness (SY 12-13) 50% of students on free or reduced meals

76 Outreach and Intentionality Matters B-5 children experiencing homelessness identified pre- and post- program implementation 2011- 12 2012- 13 2468

77 McKinney-Vento Act (Education) Overview First authored in 1987, President Reagan Re-authorized in 2001 under Title X, Part C of No Child Left Behind Applies narrowly to early childhood Establishes educational rights for children and youth experiencing homelessness (FAPE) Named for former St. Paul Congressman

78 Program Overview Primary goal is to connect more kids and their families to services in order to increase protective factors and become more prepared for kindergarten Work through four main components Outreach and awareness building Enrollment in programs and services Stability/consistency Education

79 Outreach and Awareness Building To shelters and housing programs Service provider locations (food shelves, etc.) Community groups (CoC, FHPAP) Program Enrollment Pays fees for programs (preschool and parent education) Provides assistance with applications and paperwork Makes connections with programs

80 Stability/Consistency Children in consistent programming and services Transportation provided when possible Consistent navigator Follow-up and follow-through Education About the education system About efficacy and importance of early childhood programs and services For families and educators and homeless services providers

81 Snapshot of Services Provided ProgramNumberType of Access Provided by District 622 Stepping Stones Preschool55 Enrollment2 Transport5 Tuition Early Childhood Screening99 Appointment1 Transport Pre-Kindergarten33 Enrollment3 Transport3 Tuition Head Start1917 Application2 Enrollment1 Transport Close to My Heart Preschool22 Enrollment2 Transport2 Tuition ECFE44 Enrollment4 Transport4 Tuition School Readiness summer class22 Enrollment2 Transport2 Tuition Safety Town11 Enrollment1 Transport1 Tuition ECSE7 Totals52 43 17 18

82 Program Logistics Federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance grant administered by the MN Department of Education Share two-day per week Outreach Worker with another program in the district

83 Successes Number served who would not otherwise have had access Stories and gratitude from families Demand for services Challenges Multiple counties Working across different systems Homeless service providers Education

84 Contact Information Ryan Strack, Early Learning System Coordinator Email: Phone: 651-748-7696 Twitter: @ryan_strack School District Website:

85 Discussion

86 Developing Policies Sharon Henry-Blythe Director, Visible Child Initiative at the Family Housing Fund Cathy ten Broeke State Director to Prevent and End Homelessness

87 The Visible Child Initiative Ending homelessness by investing in the healthy development and academic success of children who have known homelessness Sharon Henry-Blythe Family Housing Fund Visible Child Initiative Start Early Young Children & Homelessness Convening, October 2013

88 Breaking the Cycle of Generational Homelessness

89 Visible Child Initiative Key Strategies Embed Evidence Based, Research Informed, Culturally Appropriate Practices Accountability Influence Public Policy

90 Visible Child Initiative Key Strategy Embed Evidence Based, Research Informed, Culturally Appropriate Practices – Visible Child Training Series – Conversations on Chemical Health – Culture Matters Providers asking for multi-session or full day session at a minimum. Looking to answer how trauma can be generational and often unknown to the parent.

91 “Visible Child monthly training series with the Conversations on Chemical Health has caused the case managers, who all have a degree in Social Work, to heighten their level of expertise in serving their families at Model Cities as whole.” Quotes from Providers

92 Visible Child Initiative Key Strategy Embed Evidence Based, Research Informed, Culturally Appropriate Practices (Continued) – Children’s Mental Health Project – 90 Day Window for Children – Evidence Based Parent Education and Coaching – Trauma Informed Child Care/Early Childhood Services

93 “Trauma has been buried so deep.” “It’s like something has been uncorked for our moms.” Quotes from Providers

94 Visible Child Initiative Key Strategy Accountability The Visible Child Initiative Will: – Increase the number of homeless and formerly homeless children who receive developmental screening. – Increase homeless and formerly homeless children’s access to needed mental health and early intervention services. – Increase homeless and formerly homeless young children’s access to existing publically funded family and child focused services and programs.

95 Visible Child Initiative Key Strategy Influence Public Policy  2009 Legislative Action Omnibus Education Finance Bill signed into law which included a key provision that allows Head Start programs with “innovative initiatives” more flexibility – without penalty – to serve children and families who live in shelters, transitional housing, or permanent housing.

96 Visible Child Initiative Key Strategy Influence Public Policy  2012 Legislative Action Legislation passed creating Minnesota Visible Child Work Group to identify and recommend issues that should be addressed in a statewide, comprehensive plan to improve the well-being of children who are homeless or have experienced homelessness. Addressing Child Homelessness in Minnesota: Report of the Visible Child Work Group submitted to legislature December 2012

97 Visible Child Initiative Key Strategy Influence Public Policy  2013 Legislative Action Agencies serving homeless children and their families will be represented on local Interagency Early Intervention Committees (IEICs) across the state. Requiring IEICs to include representation from providers serving homeless families will help ensure that the developmental needs of homeless children are addressed. Minnesota Department of Education will collect statistics on the number of homeless children who receive Part C services and will report the results annually to the legislature.

98 Visible Child Initiative Key Strategy Influence Public Policy  2014 Visible Child Advocacy Agenda – Carry forward the recommendations of the Visible Child Work Group through the creation of a statewide plan to address the well-being of children who have experienced homelessness. The statewide plan will increase access to early childhood and related family support services by children and families who have experienced homelessness.

99 Kindergarten Readiness “A poll of kindergarten teachers found that they rate knowledge of letters and numbers as less important readiness skills than being physically healthy, able to communicate verbally, curious and enthusiastic, and able to take turns and share.” The Future of Children-Princeton-Brookings: School Readiness: Closing Racial and Ethnic Gaps

100 For More Information Sharon Henry-Blythe Family Housing Fund Director, Visible Child Initiative 612-375-9644, ext. 19

101 THE MINNESOTA INTERAGENCY COUNCIL ON HOMELESSNESS Cathy ten Broeke Minnesota’s Director to Prevent and End Homelessness

102 Why is this important for Minnesota? Housing stability is a platform for better educational outcomes for our children, a stronger workforce both now and in the future, increased public safety, better health, reduced health care costs, and reduced disparities among populations.

103 Minnesota’s Interagency Council on Homelessness:  Corrections  Education  Employment and Economic Development  Health  Higher Education  Housing  Human Rights  Human Services  Public Safety  Transportation  Veterans Affairs  Governor’s Office Vision: Prevent and End Homelessness for All Minnesotans

104 What do we mean by “ending homelessness?” “Ending Homelessness” means that we will prevent homelessness whenever possible and if a family or individual does become homeless we will have a crisis response system to assess their needs and provide them the opportunity to quickly access stable housing. It does not mean that no one ever again will experience homelessness.

105 Levers for Change Increase investments in what we know works Reduce barriers and increase access to mainstream resources Improve effectiveness and targeting of existing resources Improve our data, both quality and access, and use it to drive policy Reduce disparities through culturally responsible actions and approaches

106 Can we end homelessness? Not a question of can we, but will we.


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