Forgotten mothers: the case for a policy focus on the experiences of motherhood and homelessness
Responding to an identified gap in evidence, researchers have undertaken a study to understand the experiences of mothers who have become homeless and the ways in which existing policy and legislative frameworks in England meet their needs. The research findings raise questions about whether policy and legislation are adequately protecting and supporting this group of women. Valuable support is available, particularly through the provision of temporary accommodation because of the protection afforded to families via the legislative framework in England. However, that protection can exclude mothers who are living apart from their children and are, therefore, deemed to be ‘single’ – i.e. without dependent children as part of their household. Furthermore, the capacity of homeless mothers to prevent family separation and rebuild a family home was found to be hampered by the policies and procedures they encountered in housing and social work systems, which sometimes reinforced family separation. The disadvantage faced by homeless mothers was therefore exacerbated, rather than resolved by the policy and legal frameworks designed to protect them.
This policy briefing provides a series of recommendations aimed at central and local government, policy makers and practitioners to increase the welfare of women and families experiencing homelessness.
Authors: Dr Kesia Reeve and Dr Emma Bimpson
Date: November 4, 2020 1:43 pm
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