RHY Resources

Reviewing the Evidence on What Works and What Doesn’t with RHY

Chapin Hall has produced a series of briefs based on their Voices of Youth Count national research and policy initiative. Missed Opportunities: Evidence on Interventions for Addressing Youth Homelessness, released in October 2019, synthesizes empirical evidence on the effectiveness of programs and practices intended to prevent youth homelessness and to improve outcomes for RHY. Researchers evaluated over 50 studies in order to identify programs with promising results, find critical gaps in the research, and define what works and what doesn’t in addressing youth homelessness.

Download the brief at https://www.chapinhall.org/wp-content/uploads/Evidence-Review-Brief.pdf


State-specific Legal Advice for RHY

RHY face many decisions that require knowledge of their legal rights—information that can be difficult for youth to access and understand. In order to improve young people’s access to legal advice, law firm Baker & McKenzie has created an online hub that hosts state-specific Homeless Youth Handbooks. Each ‘handbook’ addresses common questions that RHY may have in eighteen different categories such as housing contracts, public benefits, health care rights, police interactions, consumer credit, and status offenses. Developed in partnership with corporate and pro bono legal partners in each state, the guides are intended both for youth and the providers who support them. Guides are currently available for eight states, with more under development.

Learn more at https://www.homelessyouth.org/about-homeless-youth


"Outcomes Contracting Toolkit for Runaway and Homeless Youth Programs" is Now Available

Funding from Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) provides critical emergency shelter, basic needs, transitional living, skills training, and other supports. While this funding provides a critical set of resources, youth and young adults experiencing homelessness face a range of multifaceted needs and compounding barriers to self-sufficiency. RHY programs are forced to navigate multiple disjointed social service systems, creating additional burden or limiting the range of allowable services.

Outcomes contracting is an effective way to break down silos and align public sector resources to programs that make a significant difference in communities. Outcomes contracting allows communities to focus on the more impactful changes that result from a program (outcomes), rather than its resources and activities (inputs and outputs). As a result of this focus, outcomes contracting creates the structure to bring together a diverse set of stakeholders around clear goals and increases accountability through funding mechanisms that incentivize providers to meet or exceed outcomes goals that will measurably improve the lives of people in need.

This Outcomes Contracting Toolkit provides information, resources, and exercises on how RHY programs can work with government agencies and other stakeholders to develop the elements of an outcomes contract appropriate for supporting RHY programs in your community. This toolkit builds off existing tools, frameworks, and resources developed to support RHY programs; outlines the essential elements of an outcomes contract and demonstrates how each element ties to a finalized outcomes contract; uses exercises to guide RHY programs through key questions necessary to arrive at a project hypothesis that can be a launching pad for an outcomes contract; and calls out crucial considerations to inform participation in future applications for funds available through the Social Impact Partnerships to Pay for Results Act (SIPPRA) in conjunction with a state or local government.

Access the "Outcomes Contracting Toolkit" 

Alternatives to Juvenile Detention for Girls

A new brief from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency explores the benefits of diverting girls who do not pose a public safety risk from secure juvenile detention to community-based residential settings. Research demonstrates that girls arrested for minor probation violations and domestic disturbances are more likely to re-offend and cycle through the justice system than girls offered community-based alternatives. This brief focuses on a facility in Florida – where an earlier study identified 2,800 girls who could potentially have avoided lockup – and describes what a few states have done to reduce girls’ unnecessary arrest and placement in secure detention.

Download Girls in Secure Juvenile Detention in Florida at



ACEs Linked to Several Leading Causes of Death

The November 2019 issue of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Vital Signs examined the relationship between Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and long-term health outcomes in the U.S. Using data from 25 states over a three-year period, researchers identified a correlation between having experienced trauma in childhood and at least five of the top ten leading causes of death. Given this stark view of the impact of ACEs, authors stress the importance of identifying children at risk for ACEs and intervening to prevent their occurrence.

Read the report and access complementary resources at https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/aces/

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