Alperstein, G., Rappaport, C., & Flanigan, J.M. (1987). Health problems of homeless children in New York City. American Journal of Public Health, 78, 1232-1233. Barrow, S. M. & Laborde, N. D. (2008). Invisible mothers: Parenting by homeless women separated from their children. Gender Issues, 25 , 157–172. Barrow, S. M., & Lawi
This section describes five categories of open questions and issues for discussion at the roundtable meeting.
Homeless Children: Update on Research, Policy, Programs, and Opportunities. IV-D. Food nutrition programs
As noted earlier, we know that for many homeless children food insecurity is an important issue. As authorized in the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act, 2004, if a student is homeless according to ED definition, he or she is categorically eligible for the National School Lunch Program and the National School Breakfast Program administer
Homeless Children: Update on Research, Policy, Programs, and Opportunities. IV-C. Pre-K and preschool programs
For younger children, typically under age 5, efforts are geared toward increasing access to child care or education programs such as the Department of Health and Human Services’ Head Start Program. According to ED (2006), there is an underrepresentation of homeless preschoolers in early education programs. Under McKinney-Vento, reauthorized as p
Federal legislation ensures homeless children’s access to school, and federal funding has been made available to schools that serve homeless children. The goal is to keep a child’s education as stable as possible despite residential instability.
Homeless Children: Update on Research, Policy, Programs, and Opportunities. IV-A. Access to health and mental health care
Access to health insurance is an important step in securing health care for homeless children. Medicaid is the primary source of health insurance for homeless children (National Center on Family Homelessness, 2009 p.43). Medicaid is health insurance for children and adults who meet the financial and general eligibility requirements. Eligibility de
Homeless Children: Update on Research, Policy, Programs, and Opportunities. Section IV. Targeted and Mainstream Programs
This section reviews targeted and mainstream programs for homeless children. The major source of targeted funding specifically for homeless children is the McKinney-Vento Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program, which was renewed in No Child Left Behind legislation.
Resilience in children has been defined as "achieving desirable outcomes in spite of significant challenges to adaptation or development" (Masten & Coatsworth, 1995, p.737). The prerequisite for evidencing resilience is to have faced a major adversity of some sort. Of the many published studies of resilience involving children and adolescents,
Researchers often attempt to single out the unique effects of particular stressors on various aspects of children’s well-being. However, there exist many different types of negative events that children living in poverty can experience, making it difficult to examine their effects individually. Moreover, the conditions just described often co-oc
According to a U.S. Department of Agriculture survey (Nord, 2009), 15.8 percent of households with children were food insecure at some time during 2007. In many of those households, parents were able to protect children from food insecurity, but in 8.3 percent of these households, children too were food insecure, typically due to reductions in the
Homeless children living doubled up or in motels and hotels, like homeless children in shelters, often experience high levels of crowding, typically indexed by the number of people per room. Residential crowding, across a number of studies reviewed by Evans (2006), has been associated with social withdrawal, elevated levels of aggression, psycholo
School mobility is, of course, related to residential mobility and thereby difficult to tease apart. Like residential mobility, school mobility is associated with poverty (e.g., Evans et al., 2010). Studies consistently find that school mobility is associated with lower academic achievement when there are no controls for achievement prior to the m
Residential moves feature prominently in inventories of stressful life events for adults and children alike. Although researchers caution that the context of moves and the extent to which they are freely chosen are important determinants of their impact (Stokols & Shumaker, 1982), moves among families experiencing homelessness are likely assoc
Homeless Children: Update on Research, Policy, Programs, and Opportunities. Economic stressors, parental job loss, and parental financial distress
Across multiple outcomes, including intelligence, school achievement, and socio-emotional functioning, persistent poverty has more detrimental effects than transitory poverty (Bolger et al., 1995; Duncan, Brooks-Gunn, Klebanov, 1994; McLoyd, 1998). Thus children from families that have always been poor are likely to be worse off than children in f
A large body of research summarized by McLoyd (1998) links poverty to adverse outcomes for children in the areas of health, cognitive development, academic achievement, and socio-emotional or mental health outcomes. Increasingly sophisticated research designs control for background characteristics of families that might lead both to poverty and to
Homeless Children: Update on Research, Policy, Programs, and Opportunities. Section III. Research Related to Unstably Housed Children and Other Children At Risk of Homelessness
There is little research on the needs or characteristics of children whose families are living doubled up with others or staying in temporary accommodations such as hotels, except for counts of school-age children provided by SEAs and LEAs and the study by Obradovic and colleagues (2009) described above.
Housing subsidies can prevent homelessness for poor families. A national random assignment study showed that provision of housing subsidies to families receiving public assistance reduced subsequent homelessness by 74 percent (Wood et al., 2008). This analysis took into account the fact that not all families that were offered vouchers utilized the
Interventions for homeless families include subsidized housing, permanent supportive housing, and transitional housing. There are very few studies on any of the interventions, and those that exist are primarily descriptive. Few studies are rigorously designed, most lack comparison groups, and most lack data on children.
Homeless Children: Update on Research, Policy, Programs, and Opportunities. Children separated from homeless families
One frequent consequence of homelessness among families is separation of children from their parents. In a national survey, 60 percent of homeless women and 41 percent of homeless men had at least one minor child, but only 39 percent of women and 3 percent of men lived with any children (Burt et al., 1999). Some separations occur in shelter system
Homeless Children: Update on Research, Policy, Programs, and Opportunities. Improvements in children’s outcomes over time
Problems of children living in homeless shelters may diminish over time. Buckner, Bassuk, Weinreb, and Brooks (1999) found in a cross-sectional analysis that children’s psychiatric symptoms peaked after about four months in shelter; thereafter, children seemed to adapt to the shelter environment. One to two years after living in shelter, the ini