Designing Services for Youth and Young Adults At-Risk of Homelessness: Key Components of YARH Grantees’ Comprehensive Service Models

Designing Services for Youth and Young Adults At-Risk of Homelessness: Key Components of YARH Grantees’ Comprehensive Service Models

Published: Sep 30, 2021
Publisher: OPRE Report #2021-200. Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
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Associated Project

Building Program Capacity to Support Youth at Risk of Homelessness (YARH): Phases I-III

Time frame: Phase I: 2013-2015 Phase II: 2015-2019 Phase III: 2019-2022

Prepared for:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation

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Key Findings
  • In all models, youth and young adults were assigned a youth practitioner who supported them until they graduated from the model. These youth practitioners used various methods to support youth and young adults to identify and achieve goals, effectively communicate and self-advocate, engage natural and formal supports, and access community resources.
  • Engaging youth and young adults was a significant challenge because their participation in services was voluntary. Youth practitioners’ personalities were key to building trusting relationships with youth and young adults. Grantees noted the importance of being patient and flexible with youth and young adults, sensitive to experiences in the youth and young adult’s life that might be influencing current behaviors, and focused on being a role model to youth and young adults. Having access to resources to provide youth and young adults with meals and gift cards contributed to engaging them in new services.

This brief is part of a series that summarizes high-level themes from a process study of grantees’ activities and accomplishments during the implementation grant period (2015-2019) of six grantees’ comprehensive service models. This brief summarizes strategies the grantees used that supported implementation of their comprehensive service models, as well as other factors that facilitated implementation.

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