Skid Row Homeless Families Diversion Plan - First 5 LA

Skid Row Homeless Families Diversion Plan - First 5 LA

Skid Row Homeless Families Diversion Plan Child Safety • Child safety is our first concern • DCFS staff working on Skid Row clear all cases on the C...

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Skid Row Homeless Families Diversion Plan

Child Safety • Child safety is our first concern • DCFS staff working on Skid Row clear all cases on the Child Welfare System/Case Management System (CWS/CMS) • CWS/CMS “clear” identifies if family has past involvement with DCFS • If probable cause, DCFS also accesses the Dept. of Justice database • DCFS conducts child risk assessment on all Skid Row families encountered

Skid Row Early Morning Screening Teams • Teams include DCFS and DPSS staff • Two teams: at Midnight Mission (MM) and Union Rescue Mission (URM) • Begin at MM at 6 a.m. and at URM at 7 a.m. work until 7:30 p.m. Monday through Friday • Collaborative agreement with MM and URM to identify families and connect them with the County Team • DHS, DMH and LAHSA on-call to assist the teams with housing vouchers, transportation, mental health assessment, clinical needs • Purpose is to move families to transitional housing outside of Skid Row

Single Homeless Families Data Base • Web-based data base for use by all County departments and LAHSA • Data included: family name, location, service dates, reasons for homelessness, family circumstances, service needs, services provided, any other information to assist in providing appropriate services • DCFS, DPSS and other County departments able to share data per Welfare and Institutions Code permission for multi-disciplinary teams to share data when engaged in “prevention, identification and treatment of child abuse” • Families asked to sign Consent to Share Information form if needed to facilitate the sharing of information beyond County teams

Housing Assistance Needs of Skid Row Families • Goal: Permanent housing for Skid Row families with strong case management to ensure families stay connected to supportive services • Use extended stay hotels outside Skid Row as short term housing • Request assistance from the City of Los Angeles re Section 8 vouchers or other rental subsidu • If appropriate, utilize the Mental Health Services Act Housing Fund to provide rental assistance • Use County general fund by accessing the Homeless and Housing Program Fund

Families Ineligible for DPSS Housing Assistance • These families, including undocumented families, must also be removed from Skid Row • DCFS Family Preservation funds maybe available • County and City general fund will need to be used • Need same services as DPSS eligible families: short term housing, permanent housing with strong case management • DCFS will provide case management

Housing Locators • DPSS housing locators will assist families eligible for DPSS benefits • Role of housing locators: – Develop network of landlords willing to take Section 8 and other tenants receiving rental subsidies – Locate affordable housing with supportive services as needed by the clients – Obtain credit counseling – Educate clients on tenants rights and responsibilities – Assist with rental agreements and move-in

Transportation • Use transportation available through the Skid Row Family Outreach Team • Transportation from missions to – Weingart Family Access Center – DMH Skid Row Clinic – Housing outside Skid Row

Uniform Assessment Tool and Case Management Protocol • Uniformity needed to ensure all agencies working together, gathering consistent information and using the same standards to assess the needs of Skid Row families • DMH has customized its case management protocol for Skid Row families; the protocol is currently being used • The case management protocol is being used by DPSS, DCFS, DMH, and LAHSA • Collaborating with Midnight Mission and Union Rescue Mission to have the case management protocol also used by these agencies • DPSS/DCFS/DMH Case management will geographically move with the family as it transitions out of Skid Row

Training • County will develop training program for County staff and other Skid Row providers • Training will cover: – Zero Tolerance for Families on Skid Row Diversion Plan goals and objectives – Roles and responsibilities of various service agencies – County and private – Use of uniform assessment tool and case management protocol

Accountability • Convene County staff, LAHSA, Weingart, Midnight Mission and Union Rescue Mission representative bimonthly to collect information and data about outcomes for Skid Row families served by screening and outreach teams • Outcomes measured include: – – – – – –

Where families are housed Type of housing occupied: emergency, transitiional permanent Planned next step for housing Supportive services each member of the family is receiving DCFS’ assessment of child(ren)’s well-being Case manager’s assessment of family stability

Homeless Family Access Center • Located initially in Skid Row area of Los Angeles • Serve homeless families: assess service needs and connect with services and housing outside of Skid Row • Include drop-in child care so that children are supervised while parents receive service assessment and connection information • Will be staffed by the County departments of DPSS, DCFS, DHS, DMH • Private partners will be contracted to provide family outreach and child care services