Last week, the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE) in the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services hosted the 15th Annual Welfare Research and Evaluation Conference in Washington, DC. This conference provides welfare and poverty researchers, state and local administrators, practitioners, and Federal officials to meet and discuss research, programs, and policies that impact welfare and related programs.
This year, the conference featured tracks on TANF, education and the labor market, child and youth well-being, fatherhood, evaluation of social programs, and alleviating poverty and strengthening the safety net. While a number of the sessions at the conference had implications for homeless families, individuals, and youth, there was a session specifically dedicated to the role that TANF and other human services programs play in ending family homelessness.
The session was moderator by the Alliance’s own Sharon McDonald, Director of Families and Youth, and featured:
- Dennis Culhane of the University of Pennsylvania who provided an overview of his widely accepted typology of homeless families and discussed the important role that short- and medium-term rent assistance in ending homelessness for a large proportion of homeless families;
- Frank Cirillo of the Mercer County Board of Social Services in New Jersey who discussed the successful efforts in Mercer County to fund rapid re-housing for families using TANF funds; and
- Alvaro Cortes from Abt Associates who provided a broad overview of findings from a study that looked at how communities are linking housing supports with social services.
A detailed agenda of the conference is available and electronic copies of powerpoint presentations from the above workshop as well as from other workshops from the conference are available upon request via email.