2013 | United States
Reducing the effects of homelessness on adolescents and their families by embedding evidence-informed prevention activities within shelters: The HOPE (Homeless Outreach to Parents and Early adolescents) Family Program
A growing number of adolescents residing with their families experience extended periods of homelessness and housing instability. As a result, these youth are increasingly likely to experience compromised child mental health, health, academic performance as well as manifest increased sexual and drug risk taking. Embedded within shelter systems servicing over one million homeless children across the U.S. are providers who have the unique opportunity, not only to enhance housing stability, but also to interrupt emerging youth difficulties before developmental outcomes are compromised. However, few brief, evidence-based, preventative interventions are available which align with the serious needs of adolescents and their families experiencing significant stressors and transitions. In response, the HOPE Family Program was designed to enhance family-level protective processes, as well as promote early identification and service referral of highly vulnerable youth. Results from a recently completed NIDA-funded effectiveness study (R01 DA018574) will be presented for the purpose of guiding public policy makers and publicly-funded homeless service systems. This study tests the hypothesis that the HOPE Family Program, relative to the comparison group (health education) would result in improved youth risk-taking behavior, mental health status, and parent/family-level protective processes.
Small, L., McGuire-Schwartz, M., & McKay, M. (2013, January). Reducing the effects of homelessness on adolescents and their families by embedding evidence-informed prevention activities within shelters: The HOPE (Homeless Outreach to Parents and Early adolescents) Family Program. Oral presentation for the Society for Social Work and Research 17th Annual Conference: Social Work for a Just Society: Making Visible the Stakes and Stakeholders. San Diego, CA.