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Model Programs Guide Literature Review: Shelter Care

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 2011
3 pages
Based on a literature review, this paper discusses the features and effectiveness of shelter care for both delinquent youth and children who temporarily need out-of-home services.
Generally, youths are placed in shelter care when they are in some type of crisis situation or are in a state of transition to a more permanent placement. Shelter homes vary widely in their services and the residents they serve. Depending on the particular shelter, youth can receive a service plan and assessment, medical screenings, individual and group counseling, in-house education, and access to food and recreational programming. Some youth receive aftercare in a transition from a correctional institution, including job training/placement services. Some jurisdictions use shelter care to hold pre-adjudicated youths as an alternative to more secure detention. Shelters generally provide a structured daily schedule and intense staff-resident interaction. . According to the Residential Census of Juvenile Facilities for 2006, most surveyed shelters were privately managed, and approximately half held 10 or fewer youths at a time. Evaluations of two shelter care programs in 2006 - one an emergency shelter for homeless and runaway youth and another that focuses on youth with violent and incorrigible behavior - found that shelter care can potentially have positive effects on the recidivism of juveniles; however, more research is needed on which shelter-care programs work best for different youth populations. 15 references

Date Published: July 1, 2011