Affordable Housing, Community Development, Federal News, Homelessness, Supportive Housing

New Report Outlines Recommendations to Improve Host Home Programs

Washington State Department of Commerce

On April 1, 2016, Washington State’s Governor Jay Inslee signed into law SHB 2440, a bill that exempted host home programs which serve unaccompanied youth who are experiencing homelessness from licensing requirements. According to the legislation: 

  • Host home programs cannot help children who are already in custody.
  • Programs have to obtain written and notarized permission from the youth’s legal guardian to allow them to stay in the program and the written authorization has to be updated every six months. 
  • Case management services need to be provided to youth residing in a host home.
  • Everyone under the age of 18 living in the host home has to be screened and given a background check.
  • The program has to be insured and provide mandatory reporting to the Office of Homeless Youth and confidential training to the staff. The legislation also mandated that a report on best practices around host home programs be provided to the Governor and Legislature. 

This report summarizes the existing host home programs and opportunities to strengthen the model to serve unaccompanied youth who are experiencing homelessness. According to the report, host home programs can provide services to those who are not eligible for Child Protective Services since homelessness is not often considered a form of abuse and neglect. The authors found that there was no centralized agency coordinating all host home programs and they highlighted a need for a statewide entity to lead the effort and for additional research be conducted on host home best practices. 

Click here to read the full report. 



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