UNIVERSAL DATA ELEMENT 3.15:
RELATIONSHIP TO HEAD OF HOUSEHOLD
In 5.14.7 WellSky will make the Head of Household field required for all sites (non-Canadian). This change is made in consultation with HUD TA providers after careful review of the HMIS Data Standards Data Dictionary.
What is a household?
This data element identifies a person to whom all other household members can be linked to at the time the household members enter a project. The information is used to identify and count households served.
Households are comprised of either single individuals or groups of persons who apply together to a continuum project for assistance AND who live together in one dwelling. If the persons are not housed, then it is comprised of persons who would live together in one dwelling unit if housed.
Who is the Head of Household?
• The term “Head of Household” is not intended to mean the "leader" of the house.
• Each CoC must develop guidelines for defining and designating a household member as the head of household.
• A particular funder may provide instructions for determining which household member should be designated as the head of household in projects that they fund; if that conflicts with the CoC guidance then the requirements of the funder should supersede CoC guidance.
What rules apply for identifying the Head of Household?
Identify one member of a household to whom all other household members can be associated.
• There must be one and only one Head of Household for each enrollment.
• In a household of a single individual, that person must be identified as the head of household.
• When a group of persons present together as a household or family unit one of those persons must be designated as the head of household and the rest must have their relationship to the head of household recorded.
• If the group of persons is composed of adults and children, an adult must be indicated as the head of household.
• If two people under age 18 present at a project together (where none of the people presenting are the child of the client being served by a project), each person should be entered as their own record in their own household.
How do I change the Head of Household if someone leaves the household?
• If the head of household leaves the project while other household members remain, another member of the household currently participating in the project must be designated as the head of household (retroactively to the beginning of the household’s enrollment)
o Then each of the remaining household members must have their “relationship to head of household” reviewed and updated accordingly to the individual's relationship to the newly designated head of household
▪ This includes the individual exiting the program
• Records of such changes are not necessary to retain in the HMIS; the head of household is simply swapped out (with the “swap” taking place at Project Start). Original values can stay in the history, just save new over old.
How do I answer the newly required Head of Household assessment question if I do not know all of the relationships?
The HMIS Data Standards Data Dictionary requires each household to identify a Head of Household as well as the relationship to the head of household for any household members. If the accompanying family members relationships are unknown HUD TA recommends choosing either “Head of Household’s other relation member (other relation to head of household” or “Other: non-relation member”. These values can be updated (at project start) when the correct relationship is known.
RELATIONSHIP TO HEAD OF HOUSEHOLD RESPONSE OPTIONS
|Field Name||Response Category||Description|
|Relationship to Head of Household||(1) Self||Heads of household may be alternatively thought of as the “primary client,” the “eligible individual” etc., rather than as a fixed designation|
|(2) Head of household’s child||Sons and daughters, including step-, adopted, and foster children of the head of household, regardless of their age|
|(3) Head of household’s spouse or partner|
|(4) Head of household’s other relation member (other relation to head of household) *|
|(5) Other: non-relation member *||Groups of people may self-define their households or families, which may include other non-relations.
However, if the group of persons are all children and youth (where none of the youth presenting are the child of another youth being served by a project), each youth should be entered as their own record in their own household.
*Options 4 and 5 can be used when the relationship to head of household is unknown at entry and can be updated over time using the Project Start pencil.