Promoting Resiliency and Positive Outcomes for Young Children

Lisa Tepper Bates, July 2017

Children who experience homelessness are subject to specific stresses and trauma related to homelessness.  How can homeless services providers – who face funding limitations and must focus on housing and shelter – best meet the needs of these children and help them achieve positive outcomes?

As with many other areas of our work, the answer lies in developing partnerships, said Marsha Basloe, and expert on early childhood from Early Childhood Development Administration for Children and Families, Department of Health and Human Services.

Head start and Early Head Start are just two of the programs Marsha noted as particularly important resources for children experiencing homelessness.  Our job: to create a laser-like focus on connecting children in our system to the mainstream and early childhood resources that are available and can meet their needs. You can review the presentations here.

We know that some providers in some communities have some success in connecting children in the homeless system to the mainstream resources they need.  We know that many providers in many communities face challenges in getting this access, and getting it quickly.  At a recent meeting of family homeless services providers, you told us clearly that the biggest single challenge you face is securing appropriate day care for families in shelters and exiting homelessness.

With that in mind, please know that CCEH is working closely with the Partnership for Strong Communities and all our partners in the Reaching Home Families with Children Working Group to explore the best avenues to promote better access for homeless children to the resources they need (including Headstart, daycare, home visiting services, and related programs).  It’s clear that this improving this access needs to be a priority in our efforts to move toward ending family homelessness by 2020.