March 2021
young child in a red mask
Variability in Social and Behavioral Adjustment among Children in Head Start
Earlier this month People's Emergency Center released a Brain Gain in reference to the report “Variability in social and behavioral adjustment among children in Head Start who are unstably housed,” published in the Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk by Haskett, M. E., Neal, S. C., & Norwalk, K. (2020).

"This sample of children experiencing homelessness," Dr. Haskett writes, "was unique in that they were living in doubled-up circumstances and were enrolled in Head Start, a high-quality early childhood education program. Relative to other families facing homelessness, these families were sufficiently stable to enroll them in Head Start. Perhaps Head Start served a protective role for these children."

Read the Brain Gain by Dr. Mary Haskett, North Carolina State University here. Find the original report here.
Distance learning online education. A schoolboy boy studies at home and does school homework. A home distance learning.
New Report on Identification of Students Experiencing Homelessness in Pennsylvania and in Philadelphia
Research for Action (RFA)’s newest policy report focuses on identification of students experiencing homelessness in Pennsylvania and Philadelphia. Properly identifying when students are experiencing homelessness is the first step to providing them academic supports and other rights afforded by federal law. As RFA found in 2018, Pennsylvania schools have a history of under-identification. The aftershocks of the COVID-19 pandemic are likely to bring more families to the tipping point of homelessness and PA schools will need to support these growing numbers of students experiencing homelessness over the next few years.

In their brief, they provide some evidence of improvement in identification of students experiencing homelessness in Pennsylvania; however, rates vary by school community. Pennsylvania overall ranks only 36th out of 50 states in identification of students experiencing homelessness per school-aged children in poverty. Furthermore, The School District of Philadelphia has the lowest rate of identification of students experiencing homelessness among the 20 largest school districts in the nation -- only four students experiencing homelessness per 100 children faced with poverty).

Contact Anna Shaw-Amoah, Policy Associate at Research for Action, for more information: ashawamoah@researchforaction.org
YouthHEALers Workshop
Homeless in High School
PEC released a BrainGain on how School District of Philadelphia students responded to the housing questions in response to the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS).

Who should read this? PEC offers this information for the professional development of staff of emergency housing programs and other agencies who serve youth who experience homelessness.

This edition summarizes the responses to the housing question on the local result of the most recent Youth Risk Behavioral Survey (YRBS), administered in Philadelphia.
Preliminary Results from a National Survey of Homeless Housing Staff
This survey is led by Dr. Janette Herbers of Villanova University and a PEC Visiting Scholar.

Homeless shelter staff who work with young children and families were asked to complete a phone interview with a researcher from Villanova University. Staff responded to items related to demographics, educational and professional background, and child development knowledge of themselves and their colleagues.
Racism and Discrimination Contribute to Housing Instability for Black Families During the Pandemic, by Child Trends.  
This brief is the third in a series examining timely topics that are relevant to Black families and children in the United States. It uses national, state, and local data to examine housing access and other available supports for Black families, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. It was co-written by Dr. Sara Shaw, a PEC Visiting Scholar.