A new study led by researchers from Children’s HealthWatch, a research and policy network and founding steering committee member of the Opportunity Starts at Home campaign, demonstrates the deeply negative impacts of homelessness on infants.
While there is a substantial body of research showing that experiencing homelessness during youth is associated with developmental delays and poor health outcomes, little has been known about the effects of experiencing homelessness during the first 12 months of life. The Children’s HealthWatch study found that infants who experienced homelessness were more likely to have developmental risks and have fair or poor health than infants who were stably housed. In addition, their mothers were more likely to have poor health and depressive symptoms. Families with infants who experienced homelessness also reported lacking sufficient food and forgoing needed healthcare for all members of the family.
The researchers called for further investigation into the long-term effects of infant homelessness and suggested policy interventions aimed at reducing homelessness and housing instability for families with children. The authors noted that new strategies for partnerships across systems including healthcare, housing, education, and social services have been successful at addressing families’ needs holistically and that sufficient federal funding is needed to take these programs to scale.
Children’s HealthWatch is a nonpartisan network of pediatricians, public health researchers, and children’s health and policy experts headquartered at the Boston Medical Center.
Read the full report at: https://bit.ly/2LEhG59
Register for the August 16, 3:00 pm ET Opportunity Starts at Home webinar on “Broadening the Housing Movement” to learn more about this new study from Children’s HealthWatch, the progress of the campaign, and how to get involved. To register for this free webinar, visit: https://bit.ly/2JWeADM
Note: NLIHC’s July 23 Memo to Members and Partners profiled the work of Opportunity Starts at Home state partner Housing California. In discussing the Residents United Network (RUN), the memo failed to mention that RUN is a collaboration between Housing California and the Center for Community Change’s Housing Trust Fund Project.