In May 2018, Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago released Missed Opportunities: Pregnant and Parenting Youth Experiences of Homelessness in the US the third Research-to-Impact brief on the prevalence and incidence of youth homelessness in the United States from Voices of Youth Count. This brief focuses on pregnant and parenting youth and young adults that are experiencing homelessness and discusses strategies to serve that cohort youth who are experiencing or at risk of becoming homelessness.
According to the report, many of the youth and young adults in the United States who are experiencing homelessness are pregnant or parenting. The report shows that 44% of young women and 18% of young men between the ages of 18 to 25 that are experiencing homelessness are pregnant and parenting. The researchers also found that 10% of unaccompanied minor girls and 3% of minor boys experiencing homelessness are either pregnant or parenting. The researchers noted the many of these young adults might have challenges accessing services since fewer homeless service providers serve minor parents. Furthermore, many of the youth and young adults who are experiencing homelessness have custody of their children.
The report concludes by providing several recommendations to better serve pregnant and parenting youth and young adults that are experiencing homelessness. These include:
- Addressing the sexual and reproductive health needs of youth that are experiencing homelessness and connecting you to pregnancy prevention, prenatal and postpartum programs.
- Increasing collaboration between homeless service providers and mainstream services.
- Exploring ways to connect youth with their family and social support network.
- Developing the capacity to serve young parents in both homeless youth and family service programs.
Click here to read the report.