Other Youth Topics


  1. Youth Topics
  2. Homelessness and Housing Instability
  3. Resources For Young Parents & Children Experiencing Homelessness

Resources for Young Parents & Children Experiencing Homelessness

Young parents and their children make up a significant portion of families experiencing homelessness. About 17 percent of youth served in U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Runaway and Homeless Youth Transitional Living Programs are pregnant/parenting,1 and about 27 percent of the families in emergency shelters in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Family Options Study were headed by someone under age 25.2 Furthermore, approximately half of the children in shelters are under age six.3 Early experiences of homelessness can lead to developmental delays, poor educational outcomes, and social and emotional difficulties among young children. Parenting youth experiencing homelessness often need developmental supports for both themselves and their young children, as well as resources for economic self-sufficiency.

Given the importance, magnitude, and vulnerability of young parents and their children experiencing homelessness, the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation and the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) developed a searchable list of resources to provide service providers and policymakers with information about ways to promote healthy development and wellbeing for this population. The database below focuses on key federal or federally sponsored resources about relevant federal programs, federal guidance, evidence-based and promising practices, early childhood supports, parenting supports, behavioral health (mental health and substance abuse), housing, employment, and education.


Healthy Start
This webpage provides information about the Healthy Start program, which invests in communities to improve health outcomes before, during, and after pregnancy. Local Healthy Start projects enroll women, their partners, infants, and children (up to 18 months) and tailor services to the needs of their communities to help reduce racial and ethnic differences in rates of infant death and adverse maternal health outcomes.


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Youth Briefs

How Individualized Education Program (IEP) Transition Planning Makes a Difference for Youth with Disabilities

Youth who receive special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004) and especially young adults of transition age, should be involved in planning for life after high school as early as possible and no later than age 16. Transition services should stem from the individual youth’s needs and strengths, ensuring that planning takes into account his or her interests, preferences, and desires for the future.

Youth Transitioning to Adulthood: How Holding Early Leadership Positions Can Make a Difference

Research links early leadership with increased self-efficacy and suggests that leadership can help youth to develop decision making and interpersonal skills that support successes in the workforce and adulthood. In addition, young leaders tend to be more involved in their communities, and have lower dropout rates than their peers. Youth leaders also show considerable benefits for their communities, providing valuable insight into the needs and interests of young people

How Trained Service Professionals and Self-Advocacy Makes a Difference for Youth with Mental Health, Substance Abuse, or Co-occurring Issues

Statistics reflecting the number of youth suffering from mental health, substance abuse, and co-occurring disorders highlight the necessity for schools, families, support staff, and communities to work together to develop targeted, coordinated, and comprehensive transition plans for young people with a history of mental health needs and/or substance abuse.

Young Adults Formerly in Foster Care: Challenges and Solutions

Nearly 30,000 youth aged out of foster care in Fiscal Year 2009, which represents nine percent of the young people involved in the foster care system that year. This transition can be challenging for youth, especially youth who have grown up in the child welfare system.

Coordinating Systems to Support Transition Age Youth with Mental Health Needs

Research has demonstrated that as many as one in five children/youth have a diagnosable mental health disorder. Read about how coordination between public service agencies can improve treatment for these youth.

Civic Engagement Strategies for Transition Age Youth

Civic engagement has the potential to empower young adults, increase their self-determination, and give them the skills and self-confidence they need to enter the workforce. Read about one youth’s experience in AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC).

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