The NRCFCP is conducting a process and outcome evaluation of Partners United for Supportive Housing in Cedar Rapids (PUSH-CR), Iowa’s first supportive housing project designed specifically for homeless/unstably housed families who are also involved with the child welfare system.  PUSH-CR is one of five demonstrations across the country testing innovative approaches to supportive housing in child welfare systems.  PUSH-CR’s model uses rapid housing access, service coordination, and strong community partnerships to prevent out-of-home placement, reunify families, improve child and family well-being, and to create sustained practice changes in the way that child welfare systems serve homeless families.

The video below — Building Community, Building Hope, sponsored by the U.S. Children’s Bureau and the Office of Child Abuse and Neglect — highlights PUSH-CR as an innovative community response to child maltreatment.

PUSH-CR, a collaboration between Four Oaks Family and Children’s Services, the Iowa Department of Human Services, the Affordable Housing Network, Inc., and more than 20 community partners, quickly transitions families into housing and provides supports and services tailored to the needs of each family and child.  Over the five-year funding period, PUSH-CR will serve about 100 families who are homeless/unstably housed, have an open child welfare case, low incomes, complex health/mental health needs, and children aged 12 and under.

The PUSH-CR evaluation and cost study is being conducted by the NRCFCP. The mixed-methods, randomized control evaluation will examine if PUSH-CR families have fewer placements and more expeditious reunification, and fewer maltreatment reports, than families receiving standard child welfare services available in the community. It also will evaluate if PUSH-CR families demonstrate improved housing, family and child well-being, employment, education and financial stability.