Child Welfare League of America

Preconference Institute - Housing Solutions for Child Welfare Families and Aging-Out Youth

Sunday, February 22
10:00 A.M. - 3:00 P.M.

Presented in Partnership with the National Center for Housing and Child Welfare

Audience: Senior staff of human service organizations.

Materials: Participants will receive a CD-ROM toolkit on making the case for and building child welfare-housing partnerships in order to leverage housing resources for the child welfare system.

Families in the child welfare system face enormous economic challenges. Child welfare professionals go to great lengths to remediate these issues and, as a result, most children reunite safely and successfully with their birth parents. Homeless and poorly housed parents, however, often remain separated from their children because they lack a safe place to raise them and the supportive services necessary to achieve stability in the home.

HUD recently awarded $20 million in new Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers for the Family Unification Program (FUP). FUP provides families involved with the child welfare system with affordable housing and supportive services in order to safely reunite them with their children. FUP vouchers are also available to ease the transition to adulthood for youth age 18 or older who left foster care after the age of 16 and are at risk of homelessness.

Institute participants will gain an understanding of the pivotal role housing can play in family preservation efforts, reunification, and successful transition to adulthood among youth who are aging out. This session will discuss creative ways to bridge the housing and child welfare systems at the local level. This institute will include the following:
  • Family Unification Program overview
  • Instructions for conducting a local housing-child welfare cost analysis
  • Current research
  • Innovative partnership models
  • Tools and training materials
  • CWLA Keeping Families Together and Safe housing-child welfare cross training curriculum
  • Information on housing options for families
  • Information on housing options for youth
  • Affordable housing policy
  • Up-to-date information on relevant federal legislation
The National Center for Housing and Child Welfare was created last May to serve as a bridge between affordable housing resources and the child welfare system. The center is dedicated to building the partnerships necessary to ensure that children do not enter or linger needlessly in foster care as a consequence of their parents' inability to afford safe, decent, permanent housing. The center also aims to ensure that each young person who ages out of the foster care system has a solid plan for housing stability.

Presenters: Ruth White, MSSA, Executive Director, National Center for Housing and Child Welfare, University Park, MD; Robert McKay, Senior Consultant, National Center for Housing and Child Welfare, Boston, MA; Shalita O'Neale, Executive Director, Maryland Foster Youth Resource Center, Laurel, MD; John Cheney Egan, Housing Liaison, Illinois Department of Children and Families, Chicago, IL; Michael Kelly, Executive Director, District of Columbia Housing Authority, and President, Council of Large Public Housing Authorities, Washington, DC; and Betsy Cronin, Director, Supportive Housing for Families Program, The Connection, Inc., New Haven, CT

Cost: $175 per person. For registration, contact Nicky Dixon at 703/412-2414 or

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