The Newborns in Shelter research project is a collaboration between the Mayor’s Office Center for Innovation through Data Intelligence (CIDI), Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), Department of Homeless Services (DHS), Department of Social Services (DSS), and Administration for Children’s Services (ACS). Using several sources of matched administrative data from 2008-2015, the team analyzed the characteristics and health of infants and of their mothers residing in NYC DHS shelters to examine birth outcomes and healthcare utilization for this population.
Each agency has its own role in the collaboration. CIDI acts as the clearinghouse for the research and convenes a multi-agency workgroup to review research questions and results to ensure action-oriented findings. CIDI also leads the analyses related to shelter utilization for parents and infants residing in shelter.
DOHMH’s Bureau of Epidemiology Services (BES) conducted the administrative data matching and also leads analyses regarding health outcomes for mothers and infants using Medicaid, hospital records, and Vital Statistics data. The Bureau of Maternal, Infant and Reproductive Health (BMIRH) within DOHMH collaborates on analyses and operates a number of home visiting programs for mothers and infants, including the Newborn Home Visiting Program that is specifically tailored for families living in DHS shelters. These analyses will inform the programming of the home visiting programs and the design of the evaluation of the New Family Home Visits Initiative, which is being conducted by BMIRH.
DHS has been working to understand patterns of shelter utilization and health outcomes for this population and to develop programming in shelters and other models to support their needs. This research will inform their ongoing work.
Our first brief from this dataset contributes to the understanding of the health of mothers and infants experiencing homelessness in NYC.
These findings will be used to support the development and evaluation of NYC agency programs for mothers and infants accessing social services. It also will inform programs and policies focused on improving well-being and health outcomes among this population, such as the New Family Home Visits Initiative, Newborn Home Visiting Program, and Nurse-Family Partnership.
Work is underway to update analysis with more recent data including the years 2016-2021.