An Overview of the Family Unification Program
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What is The Family Unification Program (FUP)?
- FUP is a housing program for families in the child welfare system. At minimum, FUP provides Section 8 vouchers to child welfare families.
- FUP is a collaboration between Housing Authorities and Child Welfare Agencies.
- FUP is a program designed to strengthen and stabilize child welfare families.
- To increase the housing resources of child welfare families to prevent the separation of children from their parents because of inadequate housing.
- To facilitate and expedite access to housing and supportive services through agency collaboration.
What are the Benefits of FUP?
- For PHAs: increased ability to serve clientele, more Section 8 vouchers.
- For CWAs: expanded access to housing solutions for families, caseworkers.
- For families: affordable housing, stability, reunification, exit from the child welfare system.
- For the community: it is the preferred and most cost-effective alternative to foster care.
Establishing a FUP
- Begin to ask questions regarding the housing needs in your community; consult CWA direct service workers.
- Map out current housing resources.
- Document the need for FUP in your community.
- Approach your partner (PHA, CWA) to exchange ideas, observations, and plans.
- Dedicate Section 8 subsidies to FUP; determine a reasonable number of vouchers to set aside for the program
- Set a local preference
- Apply to HUD for FUP vouchers through the FUP NOFA
Build the Partnership
- Gain an understanding of the mission and limitations of your partner agency.
- Lay out and agree upon the responsibilities of each partner agency.
- Specify the type and duration of services to be provided to FUP families upon lease-up
- Write a detailed Memorandum of Understanding
Elements of an Effective Partnership
- Appoint liaisons
- Reliable communication
- Regular meetings
- Cross training
- Staff support
- Invite in additional partners
- Seek additional funding for services
- Solicit feedback from program participants
Frequently Asked Questions
- What if a family has a criminal record, history of drug and alcohol abuse, or owes money to PHA?
- Can a family's voucher be taken away if they fail to comply with FUP?
- What records are we supposed to keep?
- Why do CWAs close cases so soon after families move in to their permanent housing?
What Services are Needed to Support FUP Families?
- Service needs are determined on a case by case basis.
- HUD and CWLA suggest at least 60-90 days of follow-up services.
- Most common services:
- On-going case management
- Family counseling, parenting classes
- Drug and alcohol treatment
Building in Services to Support FUP Families
- Train CWA staff on housing resources
- CWA budget
- Family Self Sufficiency Program
- Other area non-profits and supportive housing providers
- Continuum of Care Funding
- Surplus TANF Funding
- State of Illinois
- Connections, Inc., New Haven, CT
- Suffolk County, NY
- State of Arkansas
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