Homelessness Negatively Affects Infants and their Families

Join Opportunity Starts at Home to Learn How we Can Broaden the Housing Movement to End Homelessness for Infants and their Families

Children’s HealthWatch, a research and policy network and also a member of the Opportunity Starts at Home campaign committee, published a new study demonstrating the negative impacts of homelessness on infants. The study is entitled “Homelessness During Infancy: Associations with Infant and Maternal Health and Hardship Outcomes.”

Children’s HealthWatch is a nonpartisan network of children’s health and policy experts, pediatricians, and public health researchers. Its headquarters is in Boston Medical Center.

This report on infants who experience homelessness is one of the first of its kind. While there is substantial research showing that experiencing homelessness during youth is associated with developmental delays and poor health outcomes, there has been little research conducted on experiencing homelessness during the first year of life.

The Children’s HealthWatch study discovered that infants who experienced homelessness are more likely to have development risks. Even more so, they are more likely to have fair or poor health than those who were in stable housing.

  • Families with infants who experienced homelessness reported having insufficient food supplies and not receiving adequate healthcare and medical services for family members.
  • The need for stable housing is often linked to other important needs.

This study has prompted the study’s researchers to call for further investigation into the long-term effects of infant homelessness as well as the suggested policy interventions. The researchers suggest policies aimed at reducing homelessness and housing instability for families with young children.

In addition, the authors of the study suggested new strategies for partnerships. These partnerships include collaboration across systems including education, housing, healthcare, and social services. In the past, these partnerships have been successful at addressing the holistic needs of families especially when sufficient federal funding is provided to aid in their missions.

On August 16 at 3 PM, the Opportunity Starts at Home campaign will be hosting a webinar on “Broadening the Housing Movement” which will educate viewers on the new study from Children’s HealthWatch. Those who tune in will learn more about the study, the progress of the newly launched campaign, and how to get involved in the movement.

Register for the Webinar

Children’s HealthWatch Report

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