1 National Alliance to End Homelessness National Conference July 17 – 19, 2006 Tapping into the Child Welfare System: the Allegheny County Experience.

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  • Slide 1
  • 1 National Alliance to End Homelessness National Conference July 17 19, 2006 Tapping into the Child Welfare System: the Allegheny County Experience
  • Slide 2
  • 2 Population: 1,250,867 29 th Most Populous County (from more than 3,100 nationwide) Persons served by DHS annually Approx. 231,400 DHS Service Providers 384 with 820 contracts for over 1,800 discrete services Funding sources 84 each with separate laws, regulations and reporting requirements. DHS Budget $827.7 million CYF Portion $161.6 million 3,255 Families and 7,522 Children receiving CYF services (a/o 6/06) 2,601 children in out-of-home placement (a/o 6/06) The Allegheny County Experience
  • Slide 3
  • 3 Allegheny County once was a pathetic national disgrace. Today, it is a shining national model. Allegheny County is showing the nation that child welfare systems can be fixed, and it is showing the nation how to fix them. Richard Wexler, Executive Director, National Coalition for Child Protection Reform (Source: CNN NewsNight with Aaron Brown. Aired: August 14, 2002) The Allegheny County Experience
  • Slide 4
  • 4 DHS Guiding Principles All Services will be: High Quality Readily Accessible Strength-Based Culturally Competent Individually Tailored and Empowering Holistic The Allegheny County Experience
  • Slide 5
  • 5 Fundamental Tenets of DHS Child Protection is a community responsibility. Strengthening Families creates a safer environment for children. Build network of family supports/assistance Correlation between neglect/abuse and parental stressors Remove children only if absolutely necessary removal is traumatic Emphasizing services at the beginning of the service continuum: Access to information and information sharing; Pure prevention; and Early intervention Offer extensive range of prevention, early intervention, crisis management and after care services for families and individuals. The Allegheny County Experience
  • Slide 6
  • 6 DHS Structure Executive Office Program Offices Area Agency on Aging Behavioral Health Children, Youth and Families Community Services Mental Retardation/Developmental Disabilities Support Offices Administration Community Relations Information Management The Allegheny County Experience
  • Slide 7
  • 7 How Homeless Individuals and Families Find A Home Homeless Individual or Family Information & Referral Street Outreach Health care for the Homeless Drop-in Center a/o Soup Kitchen Urban League Child Welfare Housing Options Available Shelter Plus Care ShelterSafe Haven Transitional, Bridge or PennFree Housing Single Room Occupancy Permanent Housing for Persons with Disabilities Urban League Rental Assistance through HAP, CYF or both The Allegheny County Experience Homeless individuals and families may enter the system through one or more of these doors
  • Slide 8
  • 8 Continuum of Care in Service of Families Type of Program Number of Programs in CoC process Units available for Families Beds available for Families Emergency shelters 772168 Transitional Housing* 28256573 Permanent Housing for persons with disabilities 14132427 * Includes all Penn Free Bridge Housing, Bridge Housing and HUD Transitional Housing. The Allegheny County Experience
  • Slide 9
  • 9 Point-in-time Data for Adults with Children Type of HousingPopulationJan 2005Jan 2006 Emergency shelter (60 day limit) Adults25 Children3349 Transitional Housing (2 yr. limit) Adults158139 Children256224 Permanent Housing Adults90264 Children233334 The Allegheny County Experience
  • Slide 10
  • 10 Allegheny County Housing Assistance Program (HAP) Listing of housing opportunities, The Urban League updates a list of rental listings through landlords and regular newspaper classified ads. Transportation assistance Processing applications for rent and security deposits Mediating landlord/tenant issues Assisting clients with paying breakage, repairs to property, utility and arrearages so they can remain in the housing unit, counseling about money The Allegheny County Experience
  • Slide 11
  • 11 Urban League of Pittsburgh HAP Rental Assistance Program Provides assistance to low-income persons and families who are facing eviction for back rent, or needing first months rent and security deposit. Approximately $600,000 of the programs $805,000 annual budget is used for grants for families. Over last seven years, ~947 grants of an average of $630 were made per year. 1,845 Adults and Children were served in Allegheny County in Fiscal Year 2004-2005 through the Rental Assistance Program The Allegheny County Experience
  • Slide 12
  • 12 Investment by Child Welfare We work to prevent placement by investing Child Welfare dollars In HAP program and As matching funds to leverage dollars for Continuum of Care programs. The Allegheny County Experience
  • Slide 13
  • 13 Children, Youth and Families Housing Relocation Program Provides a housing assistance program for clients of Children, Youth and Families to deal with critical housing issues which might lead to placement of children in foster care Services include: Rental Assistance, lease review, tenant/landlord relations Budget Counseling The Allegheny County Experience
  • Slide 14
  • 14 Children, Youth and Families Housing Assistance Interaction Familys needs assessed at call screening Homeless/Rental only issues are diverted to the Office of Community Services or the Urban League If the case is accepted for service because of other dependency issues, the caseworker works with the family to gather requisite rental/mortgage and financial information The caseworker and the family complete an application for Urban League Assistance The application and the situation are discussed with the Urban Leagues Housing Specialist assigned to that CYF Regional Office The Urban Leagues Housing Counselor responds to the request within 48 hours The Urban League and CYF assist over 350 families per year with this program The Allegheny County Experience
  • Slide 15
  • 15 Total Families Receiving Urban League Housing Subsidy: FY2005 The Allegheny County Experience
  • Slide 16
  • 16 Cost-Benefit Analysis of Urban League Rental Assistance Program - Preventing Out-of-home placement 88.5% of families remained with no children in placement for at least 180 days after checks issuance. The average savings of preventing out-of-home placement is ~$31.44 per $1* spent on subsidy. Estimated annual savings for 131 families* that remained intact is $3,141,000. * based on an average family size of 2.36 children The Allegheny County Experience
  • Slide 17
  • 17 Cost-Benefit Analysis of Urban League Rental Assistance Program - Re-unification vs. Out-of-home placement 23% of families had children returned from placement within 180 days of the checks issuance. The average savings for re-unification efforts is ~$7.12 per $1* spent on subsidy. Estimated annual savings for 17 families* that reunited is $361,080. *based on an average family size of 2.36 children The Allegheny County Experience
  • Slide 18
  • 18 Challenges System Challenges Housing for men with children Housing for youths aging out of the CYF system Resolving underlying issues that threaten families self- sufficiency. Individual-specific Challenges Affordable housing in desired location Problematic rental history Criminal history Underdeveloped housekeeping and life skills The Allegheny County Experience
  • Slide 19
  • 19 Contact Information Marc Cherna, Director Allegheny County Department of Human Services One Smithfield Street Suite 400 Pittsburgh, PA 15222 412-350-5705 mcherna@dhs.county.allegheny.pa.us www.county.allegheny.pa.us/dhs The Allegheny County Experience

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