DeCandia, C. J., Bassuk, E.L., Richard, M. (2017). Assessment of Families Experiencing Homelessness: Analysis of Current Practice. Advances in Child and Family Policy and Practice, SpringerBriefs Series Child and Family Well-Being and Homelessness, pp 49-63.
Available at: http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-3-319-50886-3_4
Although research indicates that families experiencing homelessness struggle with both structural needs (e.g., housing and income) and psychosocial issues, the assessment process varies considerably among programs serving these families. In this study, we systematically evaluated the initial intake and assessment process of a convenience sample of 55 emergency shelters, transitional housing, and permanent supportive housing programs serving homeless families. Results provide support for culturally competent, family-oriented, and trauma-informed assessment of homeless families. Implications for practice and policy are discussed.
Review: “DeCandia, Bassuk, and Richard provide a vital look at the relevance and nature of assessment practices when homeless families enter shelter. This survey provides a loud wake-up call for responsive assessments of children and parents. Without such baseline measures, services can’t be matched to needs, and any objective determination of the effects of housing and services on well-being is impossible.”
Britner & Farrell (2017)
DeCandia, C. J., So, M., Hayes, L. (2017). Family Experiences of Homelessness in Massachusetts: The Case for Family-Centered Care. Homes for Families, Boston, MA.
This paper is the third in a series released by Homes For families. Using a Community Bases Participatory Research (CBPR) approach, a total of 117 parents were surveyed in the Springfield and Boston areas in motels, congregate scattered sites, and co-shelters to learn more about homeless families’ experiences with systems of care. The paper makes the case for family centered care as a model to best align family needs with service delivery.
(Click here to view the paper.)
DeCandia, C. J. (2017). Evidence Based Stabilization: A solution to Reduce Family Homelessness in MA. Homes For Families. Boston, MA.
This paper is the fourth in a series produced by Homes For Families. It reviews national research about families experiencing homelessness and evidence based practices across the country. The paper concludes by recommending an assessment and evidence based stabilization model be implemented across the Commonwealth.
(Click here to view the paper.)
Bassuk, E.L., Olivet, J., & DeCandia, C.J. (2016). Building on Strengths and Advocating Family Empowerment (BSAFE): An Intervention to End Family Homelessness – Implementation Guide. The Bassuk Center on Homeless and Vulnerable Children and Youth and the Center for Social Innovation. Needham, MA.
BSAFE is an evidence based stabilization model for housing and case management services designed to support families and children who are homeless or formerly homeless as they transition back to the community. BSAFE addresses the needs of all family members and tailors the approach to their strengths, needs, goals, wishes, and priorities. The implementation guide outlines the components of this comprehensive approach to effective stabilization. To implement BSAFE, contact the author(s).
Osher, D., Kidron, Y., DeCandia, C.J., Kendziora, K. & Weissberg, R. P.(2016). Interventions to Promote Safe and Supportive School Climates. In Wentzel, K.R. & Ramani,G.B. (Eds.). Handbook of Social Influences in School Contexts: Social Emotional,Motivational, and Cognitive Outcomes, pp.384-404. Routledge. New York, N.Y.
The Handbook of Social Influences in School Contexts describes how and why various aspects of social relationships and contexts contribute to children’s social and academic functioning within school settings. This chapter focuses on creating safe school environments, and highlights the needs of vulnerable and traumatized children. https://www.amazon.com/Handbook-Social-Influences-School-Contexts/dp/1138781401
DeCandia, C.J., & Guarino, K. (2015). Trauma-informed Care: An Ecological Approach. Journal of Child Care and Youth Work. 25, 7-32.
This comprehensive review of trauma-informed care—its evolution, current models, promising practices, and evidence base—asserts that investment in trauma-informed care is essential to improve practice across service sectors. https://www.nrcys.ou.edu//catalog/product.php?productid=218&cat=14&page=1
DeCandia, C. J. (2015). Assessment of Families Experiencing Homelessness: A Guide for Practitioners and Policy Makers. Homes for Families, Boston, MA.
This brief is intended to be a guide for providers and policy makers, local leaders, and state agencies on the process of conducting a comprehensive assessment of homeless families. First, assessment is defined and current models and tools briefly reviewed. Next, the domains of a comprehensive assessment are outlined, along with the core principles underlying the process. Finally, implications for policy and practice are discussed. https://homesforfamilies.wordpress.com/category/assessment/
Bassuk, E. L., DeCandia, C. J., Richard, M. (2015). Services Matter: How to End Family Homelessness in America. The Bassuk Center on Homeless and Vulnerable Children & Youth Needham, MA.
More families experience homelessness in the United States than in any other industrialized nation, with the numbers reaching historic proportions. More than 2.5 million children, many below the age of six, are homeless each year. Despite these staggering figures, comprehensive strategies to end family homelessness have not been implemented, and the nature and mix of housing options coupled with services and supports continue to be debated. This report opens with a call to action and ends with the demand for an immediate response to end family homelessness. http://www.bassukcenter.org/services-matter/
Bassuk, E.L. DeCandia, C. J. Tsertsvadze A., Richard, M. (2014). The Effectiveness of Housing and Service Interventions on Ending Family Homelessness: A Systematic Review. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry. 84(5):457-74. doi: 10.1037/ort0000020.
While current housing programs are successful in reducing literal homeless, families have difficulty maintaining stable housing in the community. This article highlights the need to combine housing and services to support vulnerable families. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25265216
Bassuk, E.L., DeCandia, C.J., Beach, C.A., Berman, F. (2014). America’s Youngest Outcasts: A Report Card on Child Homelessness. The National Center on Family Homelessness at American Institutes for Research. Waltham, MA.
This report examines the status of homeless children both nationally and state-by-state, including an estimate of the numbers of children who are homeless, and state rankings based on factors that can protect children from becoming homeless or lead to homelessness. www.homesschildrenamerica.org