Overview of homelessness regarding families and children Homelessness isan international social problem but the United States and other developed nations seem to agree on its definitions; researchers have categorized homelessness as either being literal or precarious. The literal definition seem to refer to the most commonly seen forms of homeless.
Meaning, those who are without a home, that live on the street, abandoned building/make-shift structure/in parks and people who live in shelters. The precarious definition involves those who are at an imminent risk of being homeless. They include: those who are temporarily doubled up with family or friends and those who are in substandard housing. Traditional characteristics of homeless people vs. the “new homeless” Meanwhile, the definition of homelessness seem to fall under certain subgroups. Causes of h*omeless families These families end up being homeless as a result of sociostructural and psychological factors. The socio cultural factors involve changing labor markets, poverty, the housing system, and the nature of the welfare state while the psychological factors reflect individual agency, including alcohol dependence, substance use, social and behavioral problems. Other examples that seem to fall under both factors include a loss of benefits, eviction and domestic violence and the like.
African Americans and other ethnic groups are found disproportionately among homeless families. Frequently, the mothers may end up in these situations that lead to homelessness because of a mental illness, substance abuse addiction and sometimes from an unfortunate circumstance such as losing their job without any form of maternity leave pay while there are in the later stages of pregnancy; Unfortunately, would comes next is a young mother and infant in a family shelter or doubled up with family or friends.
Obviously, homelessness places a tremendous amount of stress on a mother with unfortunate and or limited resources. Experiences of families with children in family shelters Parents in shelters that are separated from their children Shockingly, research reveals that little attention is given to the homeless children who are often times taken from their biological parents (by child welfare services) because of some form of abuse and neglect experienced throughout homelessness and are placed in foster care.
Often times, these children are already traumatically affected by the sad conditions that cause them to be separated from their family but they are further wounded through the constant changes in placement in regards to foster care. Thus, these changes affect their immediate and future development and mental health. Numerous children in foster care have poor developmental, mental and educational outcomes. Often times they are released from foster care without any counseling or intervention and are left to fend for themselves.
Many of them struggle as they transition from foster care to young adulthood and will succumb to poor choices that will prevent them from obtaining an optimal level of health. Current policy initiatives In an effort to discourage panhandling, the National law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, reports on a survey of 50 largest cities of the U. S. noting 86% of these cities have enacted anti-panhandling laws and 73% have enacted laws against sleeping in public places. Over half of the surveyed cities remove homeless people from the public eye.
This practice is widespread in cities where there are shortages of emergency shelters and affordable housing. Additionally, the Bringing America Home Bill, aimed at ending homelessness in the U. S. , supported by an extensive campaign and with 57 sponsors, never became law. The NCH also reports that federal agencies such as HUD interpret “homelessness” very narrowly. In addition to the number of federal and state government agencies aimed at tackling homelessness, there is also a National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH) a nonprofit organization that targetspublic and private sectors for a united effort to end homelessness.
The NAEH recommends four proactive steps to b taken simultaneouslyto end homelessness: planning for outcomes (by identifying real needs); “closing the front door” (by shifting the flow of incentives toward prevention); “opening the back door” (by helping people exit homelessness quickly); and building the infrastructure (by changing homeless assistance to improve the supply of affordable housing and providing adequate income and services for the disadvantaged. ) In a policy environment as complex as the U. S. there are clearly a wide range of public and private initiatives aimed at reducing or alleviating homelessness, including the National Center on Family Homelessness, National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, National Health Care for the Homeless Council, HomeAidAmerica, Home Base and Homes for the Homeless. Home Base and Homes for the Homeless is an initiative that attempts to address the many interrelated issues that support a family in maintaining a house (including needs assessment, counseling and access to healthcare and housing search assistance, as well as skills for independent living. Adequacy of the body of research Reforms needed The literature reveals that child welfare services needs to implement more strategies to help homeless families from every vantage point (i. e. vest more interest in public shelters, Child Welfare Services should play a more explicit role in the financing, development and management of transitional and permanent, supportive housing programs for cross-system involved families etc. ) This assistance would likely reduce their homelessness and outcomes of out of home placements and negative consequences of homelessness for children and their families.