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Young Children & Homelessness Convening October 10, 2013 PowerPoint Presentation
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Young Children & Homelessness Convening October 10, 2013

Young Children & Homelessness Convening October 10, 2013

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Young Children & Homelessness Convening October 10, 2013

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  1. Young Children & Homelessness Convening October 10, 2013
  2. Welcome Lynn Haglin Vice President, Northland Foundation
  3. Overview of Family Homelessness in Minnesota Michelle Decker Gerrard Research Manager, Wilder Research Monica Idzelis Rothe Research Scientist, Wilder Research
  4. 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. About the statewide study 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
  6. One-night study counts
  7. What is new? 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%
  8. What does not change? 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
  9. Age groups Adult females age 22 or older 25% Children with their parents 35% Adult males age 22 or older 29% Unaccompanied minors age 12-17 1% Unaccompanied young adults age 18-21 10%
  10. Ages of children with their parents Age 13-17 Age 0-5 Age 6-12
  11. Children and families
  12. Where homeless children were counted Not in shelter 11% Battered women 11% Emergency shelter 24% Transitional housing 55%
  13. Children and families: counts 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
  14. Children and families: demographics 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
  15. Parents: racial disparities
  16. Parents: homelessness history 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
  17. Parents: health problems 52% of parents have serious mental health problems 48% have chronic physical health problems 9% have chemical dependency issues
  18. Parents: other characteristics 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
  19. Health care needs of children with parents 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%)
  20. Other health related needs Percent of parents who report at least one child with a chronic or severe problem: Emotional or behavioral (26%) Physical health problem (15%)
  21. Other needs of children 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%)
  22. Young children (age 0-5) 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
  23. Housing affordability gap Monthly median income of homeless adults Metro $381 Greater MN $403 Fair market rent for a one bedroom apartment Metro $745 Greater MN $531
  24. What gives us hope? 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
  25. Next steps Special reports on youth, American Indian reservation homelessness, and veterans Seeking funding for a special report on homeless families
  26. To learn more about homelessness in Minnesota go to

  27. Keynote Address: Resilience and Homeless Children Dr. Ann Masten, Ph.D. Professor of Child Psychology University of Minnesota
  28. Risk and Resilience in Homelessand Highly Mobile ChildrenEarly 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. Capacity of a system to adapt successfully to significant disturbances that threaten its adaptive function, viability, or development Resilience
  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. Analyzing administrative data The Big Picture
  37. Reading scores 2005 to 2009 26,501 students General - Norm, & …RPM Reading score Free meals HHM 75% 46% Cutuli et al 2013 Child Development 84, 841-857 21% 12%
  38. HHM student individual reading scores Reading score National avg Homeless avg
  39. MATH 26,474 students 76th General Norm & RPM Math score Free meals HHM 79th 12th 18th percentile avg score
  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 High Low Herbers et al 2012 Educational Researcher, 41, 366-374
  43. Administrative data limitations Schools cannot collect data on key protective influences due to time burden and cost
  44. Potentially malleable protective factors A Closer look at what makes a difference
  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. Targeting executive function Promoting School Success
  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 projectPIs = 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. Observations from recent HHM studies 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
  59. Windows of Early Opportunity Preventing stress Protecting brain development Promoting tools for learning Supporting parents
  60. Thank you! 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, AbiGewirtz, 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!
  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. CURRICULUM CONTINUED 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.
  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. EXTENDING OUR IMPACT 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
  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. Center City Housing Corp 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
  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. The Homeless Experience Social/emotional/developmental delays Highly mobile and episodes of homelessness Lacking positive parenting skills and knowledge World of violence and chaos
  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
  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
  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 InitiativeEnding homelessness by investing in the healthy development and academic success of children who have known homelessness Sharon Henry-BlytheFamily 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. Quotes from Providers “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.”
  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. Quotes from Providers “Trauma has been buried so deep.” “It’s like something has been uncorked for our moms.”
  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

    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.