Review of Evidence Based Family Interventions for Youth Experiencing Homelessness

Urban Institute and Child Trends

by Michael Pergamit, Julia Gelatt, Brandon Stratford, Samuel Beckwith , and Miranda Carver Martin

Family conflict is a key driver of youth homelessness, and most programs serving youth experiencing homelessness use some form of family intervention to address conflict and help reconnect youth when appropriate. This report summarizes existing evidence on family intervention strategies for youth experiencing or at risk of homelessness gathered through a literature review and supplemented with conversations with a small set of key informants. It also includes a summary of common elements of effective interventions and a discussion of gaps in the evidence base. The report concludes that the research has uncovered a few effective family intervention strategies that provide insight into what makes these strategies successful, but more research is needed to evaluate those targeted specifically to youth experiencing or at risk of homelessness, including key groups of youth such as racial and ethnic minorities and those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning.

There is also a shorter, accompanying brief that pulls out the key points of the report for implementation.