Homelessness During Infancy: Associations with Infant and Maternal Health and Hardship Outcomes finds that infants under 12 months with a history of homelessness reported higher rate of hospitalization, poor or fair health, and developmental delays as compared to those who have never experienced homelessness. Mothers who experienced homelessness during the 12 months following the birth of her child were more likely to report a higher rate of poor or fair health and depressive symptoms. Families experiencing homelessness were more likely to report experiencing food insecurity and less likely to seek medical care for other household members than the surveyed child because of the caregivers’ inability to pay for health care.
According to the researchers, homelessness may have a lasting negative impact on a child’s health, education, and socioeconomic status. Partnerships and coordinated services efforts with mainstream systems that interact with children on a regular basis, such as healthcare, housing, early childhood education, social services, is critical to addressing and prevent homelessness.
This study was published by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in the Cityscape: A Journal of Policy and Development and Research.
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