Casey Family Program contracts with Ruth McRoy, CSWR Director, to evaluate STEPPING STONES, a transitional living program for homeless parenting youth, which is located at the Marywood Children and Family Services. This program is designed to provide shelter, skills training and support services to help homeless young mothers, ages 18-21 and their children smoothly transition to self-sufficiency and avoid long-term dependency on social services. Many of the homeless mothers served are either in or are emancipated from the Texas child welfare system. The STEPPING STONES program, in collaboration with the Casey Family Program, Austin division, and Texas Presbyterian Children’s Home, provides up to 12 months of shelter and a comprehensive range of supportive and aftercare services designed to empower young mothers to overcome multiple challenges. Marywood serves as the primary agency in this collaboration as it is the site of the program and the recipient of a three-year grant, issued as part of the 1988 Runaway and Homeless Youth Act, that enabled the agency to establish the program.

According to the goals on the program, Marywood admits up to 16 young mothers and children (eight family units) into STEPPING STONES at any one time. It is expected that at least 24 family units will receive services over the course of three years. The program anticipates that 75% of the young women completing the program and participating in aftercare services will achieve success in independent living. It is also expected that this program can be replicated in other locations for the purpose of increasing the number and success of young mothers transitioning from foster care to self-sufficiency.

Casey Family Program