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date: 22 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter aims to extend our knowledge base of the relationship between homelessness and child outcomes in order to contribute to developing effective strategies to better serve children and families who are experiencing homelessness. This chapter first goes over who is defined as homeless, how many children and families are counted as homeless, how homelessness and poverty are intertwined, and what characteristics are common among homeless families and their children. This chapter then reviews the relation of homelessness to child outcomes, such as physical and mental health, out-of-home placement, parent-child interactions, cognitive development, and educational outcomes. Lastly, this chapter discusses directions for future research in this area, including the need for further investigation of the independent effect of homelessness on child outcomes, differential service needs among subgroups of homeless families, both risk and protective factors for child problems, and methodologically rigorous intervention studies for children who are homeless or at risk for homelessness.

Keywords: family homelessness, child outcomes, poverty, cross-sector outcomes

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