Family break-up raises homelessness risk, and critical period is longer for boys
Feb 27, Though she specifically asked about divorce, I'll respond with information on general relationship breakdown as well, as not all people are. Poverty and homelessness are associated with the break-up of families. A number of studies have documented that children in families who experience. Jun 23, Family break-up raises homelessness risk, and critical period is longer for boys Parental separation can lead to homelessness in many ways. us answer the question of a potential causal relationship between the two.
For example, one respondent had to move somewhere she deemed unsafe after an eviction; another left an unsafe area and moved in with a violent boyfriend.
Three families six instances were separated by a protective services agency due to parental substance abuse and neglect. In all but two other instances, both involving arrest, the respondent arranged for family members to take the child without formal agency involvement. In two cases children reacted badly to a move away from relatives, and the respondent sent them to those relatives; in the third the child was picked up by police and sent, briefly, to a mental health facility. Best Option Although many parents who were separated from a child described a sense of loss and reported that the child missed them, 34 of the 43 parents considered the painful decision to be the best option among difficult choices because the child was stable and better provided for.
Separations enabled the child to remain in a good school or to develop a bond with extended family. As much as it hurt me to be separated from my daughter, you know, sometimes you have to make sacrifices. You have to put them first. Other children had negative experiences, including one who was molested and another who was physically abused during the separation. No Separations from Children Among parents who had not been separated from children, 13 of 37 had considered a separation, typically for reasons associated with hardship or shelter: Maybe before we got into the shelter, because it was hard to get into that shelter… So instead of taking my kids to a park, there was numerous shelters I had called.
But — so yeah. Partner Separations Of the 80 respondents, 12 14 instances had been separated from a partner for housing-related reasons. Half of the partner separations had to do with rules of shelters or housing programs that excluded men, unmarried couples, or people with criminal convictions. Although respondents felt they had no housing options that would allow partners to stay together, many of them described the resulting strain: Two respondents left doubled-up situations that had accommodated partners to obtain housing that they deemed better for themselves and their children.
Two others moved into doubled-up situations that required separating from partners. One of these families was living in their car: And it was just better for him partner to send me back to my family for me to get a support down there than it was for me to stay here.
Because everybody was telling us that Children and Youth would come take my daughter if they found us in a car and all this.
What are the statistics on homelessness due to divorce?
So he just--we just sold the furniture and stuff that we had, and he bought us tickets and sent us back home. Most respondents who experienced a housing-related separation from their partners reported negative impacts on their children. Reunification with Children and Partners All but five respondents anticipated that the separations from their children would be temporary. Of the 57 incidences of separation from children, 34 had ended in reunification at the time of the qualitative interview.
Respondents indicated that securing adequate housing permitted 14 of these reunifications. Nine parents reported that ongoing separations would continue until the parents secured housing. These parents were living in shelter or transitional housing fivedoubled up with other households in the same apartment threeor in a subsidized apartment that was too small to accommodate all children one.
Similarly, nine of the 14 separations from a partner had ended in reunification at the time of the qualitative interview, typically because the respondent or the partner was able to secure housing that could accommodate the entire family.
Reunification in three additional cases depended on housing. No parent indicated that shelters or other housing services attempted to reunite them with their families.
Rather, shelter and housing programs tended to consider only members present with the respondent in evaluating housing needs, resulting in assignment to places too small for the full family.
Respondents also reported that staff in shelters and transitional housing threatened to involve protective services if parents did not comply with shelter rules Mayberry et al. Discussion As in other studies in the literature, this study shows that separations from children are rampant in families who experience homelessness. In our large site sample, nearly a quarter of families who had spent a week or more in shelter were living apart from one or more of their children, although fewer than one percent had a child in foster care.
Including separations at other times, over half of the qualitative subsample had been separated.
Family break-up raises homelessness risk, and critical period is longer for boys
Other studies have found that both separations and foster care placements often increase in the months following shelter entry Cowal et al. Family demographic characteristics were associated with the likelihood of separations. Older children are much more likely to be separated from their families, with children age 13 to 17 being at particularly high risk. Mothers may be more likely to keep younger children with them, with older children more likely to stay with other relatives so that they are not exposed to shelter conditions or can maintain continuity in schooling.
Despite some shelters having policies excluding older male children, no evidence of an interaction effect between age and gender was found. Larger households also faced greater difficulty staying intact or reunifying, perhaps in part due to constraints on unit size. White families are likely to have more resources to stay out of shelter than families of color; those who nonetheless become homeless may be more troubled, leading to higher rate of separations.
What are the statistics on homelessness due to divorce? | The Homeless Hub
Both the quantitative and qualitative data point to the importance of extremely low incomes and resulting hardship in tearing families apart. Parents faced agonizing choices between keeping children with them and protecting them from shelter conditions or providing for their welfare. As in the study by Barrow and Lawinskimost separations involved parental agency in difficult circumstances, and most separations were arranged informally between parents and other relatives.
Parental behavior also mattered. Arrests and felony convictions were associated with separations in the qualitative and quantitative data respectively. Substance abuse, perhaps surprisingly given previous studies, figured only in the qualitative data, and having experienced domestic violence as an adult was not associated with separations, perhaps because of the long time frame. Relatives sometimes intervened when they thought the respondent was not parenting appropriately.
- Poverty, Homelessness, and Family Break-Up
- Disadvantage, family breakdown and homelessness
Local policies also influenced parental options and choices, as evidenced by the fact that rates of separation varied substantially by site and shelter. Partner separations contributed to, but did not fully explain, the lower numbers of two-parent families in the East as has been found in other studies, c.
Rog and Buckner, Although some shelter staff threatened to call protective services in order to induce compliance with rules and did so in one case, the additional visibility of parenting under the watchful eyes of service providers does not explain informal separations. Children were rarely taken into foster care.
This study is the first to document the extent to which poverty and homelessness lead partners to separate from one another. Parental separation can lead to homelessness in many ways. For example, a separation might require an urgent move, which generates a financial shock.
Without enough savings or networks of family and friends to help cover this unexpected expense, low-income parents may be unable to afford secure and safe housing for their family and hence become homeless. Financial pressure on single-parent households increased again in April when legislation that froze or reduced entitlements to several family benefits was passed. Even less-disadvantaged parents, who may be able to cope financially in the short run by covering housing costs with their savings, for examplemay be unable to do so in the medium run once those savings run out.
They then become homeless a few years after the separation. Parental separations can also create conflict between parents and children. What did our research show?
In the Journeys Home sample, family breakdown appears to be an important trigger for homelessness. However, the research linking parental separation and homelessness is scarce.
This is because most of the available datasets are not well suited to this purpose. Disadvantaged populations — that is, people who have experienced homelessness — are underrepresented in general household surveys. And datasets that include only people who are currently homeless fail to capture other segments of the disadvantaged population who might be at risk of homelessness.
In contrast, Journeys Home is unique in that it covers a broad spectrum of the disadvantaged population, not just those currently homeless.