Within most human services agencies, there is a subset of highly vulnerable families who have particularly multi-faceted or complex needs that are not being adequately addressed. In the traditional approach to serving these families, government treats each facet of the family’s challenges through a separate, siloed agency, usually focusing only on the family members who present to the system. As a result, these vulnerable families are likely to either engage with many services in a disjointed, ineffective way, or to receive one siloed service even though they have much more complex needs.
To reimagine a system of supports for these vulnerable families, the GPL is working with Chicago to develop a system to better coordinate services that address vulnerable families’ overall needs, thereby providing the holistic supports these families need to attain social and economic mobility. To do so, the GPL is helping the Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) assess the current challenges for highly-vulnerable families interacting with DFSS and designing a pilot intervention to provide more holistic supports for a priority subset of these families by better coordinating resources across DFSS' workforce, youth services, homelessness and domestic violence, and children's services divisions.