استفاده از GIS به منظور ارتقاء برنامه های خدمت به جوانان رها شده از پرورشگاه
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|18494||2012||9 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Evaluation and Program Planning, Volume 35, Issue 1, February 2012, Pages 25–33
This article describes a GIS prototype designed to assist with the identification and evaluation of housing that is affordable, safe, and effective in supporting the educational goals and parental status of youth transitioning from foster care following emancipation. Spatial analysis was used to identify rental properties based on three inclusion criteria (affordability, proximity to public transportation, and proximity to grocery stores), three exclusion criteria (areas of high crime, prostitution, and sexual predator residence), and three suitability criteria (proximity to health care, mental health care, and youth serving organizations). The results were applied to four different scenarios to test the utility of the model. Of the 145 affordable rental properties, 27 met the criteria for safe and effective housing. Of these, 19 were located near bus routes with direct service to post-secondary education or vocational training programs. Only 6 were considered appropriate to meet the needs of youth who had children of their own. These outcomes highlight the complexities faced by youth when they attempt to find affordable and suitable housing following emancipation. The LEASE prototype demonstrates that spatial analysis can be a useful tool to assist with planning services for youth making the transition to independent living.
Children are typically placed in foster care because they have experienced some form of maltreatment such as abuse, neglect, or abandonment. Although the goal of foster care is to re-unite children with their families, many youth remain in out-of-home care until they “age-out” of the foster care system and are legally emancipated, typically at age 18. These youth become immediately responsible for all aspects of their daily living including housing, meal preparation, grocery shopping, transportation, education, employment, medical care, and other needed services. Given the sudden transition from childhood dependency to adult self-sufficiency, it is not surprising that many foster youth experience housing problems following emancipation. Of the 30,000 youth who are emancipated from foster care in the United States each year (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2009), an alarming number become homeless. Fowler, Toro, and Miles (2009) reported that approximately 20% of former foster youth experienced chronic homelessness. Reilly (2003) found that 19% of the former foster youth lived on the streets and an additional 18% lived in a homeless shelter. Courtney, Dworsky, Lee, and Raap (2010) reported that 37% of former foster youth had been homeless or had “couch surfed” by moving from one temporary housing arrangement with friends, family or strangers to another. Similar results have been reported in England where former foster youth constitute 8% of the homeless population (National Care Advisory Service, 2009). In a sample of 106 youth in England, 35% reported they had experienced homelessness within the first 12–15 months after leaving care (Wade & Dixon, 2006). Housing instability has been found to be related to emotional and behavioral problems, physical and sexual victimization, criminal conviction, and high school drop out status (Fowler et al., 2009). As such, housing instability can exacerbate the transitional process. Conversely, housing stability has been found to be the factor most closely associated with positive mental well-being in young people leaving foster care (Wade & Dixon, 2006). Johnson et al. (2010) reported that high quality, well located, appropriate, and affordable housing enabled young people leaving care to build social networks and provided a base for them to engage with education, training, and employment opportunities. Therefore, it is essential that housing decisions incorporate multiple factors to support youth in transition (Torrico & Bhat, 2009). In recognition of the transitional problems experienced by foster youth in the United States (U.S.), Title IV-E of the Social Security Act was amended in 1986 to provide funds for states to create independent living programs. In 1999, the Foster Care Independence Act, specifically the John Chafee Foster Care Program, gave states the option to provide a broader array of services to youth, to extend Medicaid coverage through age 21, and to provide vouchers for education and training. Title IV-E was amended again in 2008 to extend the eligibility age for foster care maintenance payments for foster youth from 18 to 21. In order to be eligible for these payments, foster youth had to be enrolled in a high school (or GED), post-secondary or vocational program; participate in a program designed to promote or remove barriers to employment; and be employed for at least 80 h per month. As a result of these federal initiatives, many states in the U.S. have developed transition services to assist youth in identifying housing as part of independent living programs. These efforts are not limited to the United States. For example, in England, the National Care Advisory Service (2009) published a manual to support safe, suitable, and affordable housing options for youth leaving care. However, no systematic method has been identified to evaluate housing options that address the multiple needs and goals of youth leaving foster care. In order to address this gap in the service delivery system, we developed a model to assist transition case managers in their efforts to Locate and Evaluate Affordable, Safe, and Effective (LEASE) housing. LEASE is a prototype that uses spatial analysis to map nine factors that are important in making affordable, safe, and suitable housing decisions with youth who are making the transition from foster care following emancipation. LEASE was developed using Geographic Information Systems (GIS), a tool that has the capability of combining multiple datasets and presenting the results on a map to provide new spatial perspectives to social problems (Joyce, 2009). The potential contributions of GIS have been promoted within child welfare for more than a decade. Robertson and Wier (1998) published an article describing how GIS could be used to enhance child welfare practice, program planning, and evaluation. Ernst (2000) and Freisthler, Levy, Gruenewald, and Chow (2006) used GIS to identify neighborhoods in which children may be at high risk for maltreatment. Leary (2009) incorporated GIS as part of a neighborhood analysis and confirmed that residential instability, impoverishment, and child care burden were positively associated with high foster care entry rates. No examples have been found in the literature that utilize GIS as a tool to address the complex problems faced by youth in transition. Thus, LEASE was designed to explore this possibility. The geographic focus of the LEASE prototype was Hillsborough County, an area with a population of 1.2 million residents located on the west coast of Florida in the United States. Hillsborough County is the site for one of three national demonstration projects, Connected by 25, that provide transition services to former foster youth between the ages of 18 and 25. Their mission is to ensure that foster care youth are educated, housed, employed and connected to a support system by age 25.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
LEASE provides an example of the potential of using GIS as a tool to enhance program planning for the delivery of human services. The model itself will not solve the complex housing and transitional problems faced by youth who exit the foster care system. However, LEASE provides a strategic method to inform decision making related to housing alternatives for youth making the transition from foster care to independent living. At the individual level, the maps produced through spatial analysis should be used to engage youth in a discussion of housing alternatives and the advantages and disadvantages of each possibility. At the organizational level, transition specialists and local housing authorities should use spatial analysis to plan for the expansion of affordable housing units in areas that are co-located with services needed by youth. At the policy level, cross disciplinary training and collaboration should be required to expand the use of spatial analysis in program planning, delivery, and evaluation. Policy makers should also support research to test the impact of spatial analysis models on improving transition outcomes and to assess the effectiveness of these models with different combinations of factors and criteria. The National Care Advisory Service (2009) in England recommended that service providers and housing departments should work together to regularly map housing and support services available in their areas. A similar policy should be adopted in the United States. The LEASE prototype demonstrated that GIS can be an effective tool for these collaborations. Because the choice of housing has a significant impact on the transition trajectory, it is imperative that housing decisions be informed by data that will promote housing stability by providing affordable, safe, and effective alternatives for youth following emancipation from foster care.