Homeless mothers: Key research findings

Responding to an identified gap in evidence this reports explores and makes visible the experiences of homeless mothers and their interaction with housing and other social services. Based on qualitative interviews with 26 homeless mothers living in in the north of England, and consultation with organisations that offer housing and other support to women and families, the research findings raise questions about whether policy and legislation is adequately protecting and supporting this group of women. Many of the women in this study had lost their homes and their children in quick succession during periods of vulnerability- often including domestic abuse. Many received valuable support and assistance, including provision of temporary accommodation, but their capacity to prevent these losses and to rebuild a family home was also often hampered by the policies and procedures they encountered in the housing and social work systems.

The key findings of the report are:

  • The distinction between ‘family’ and ‘single’ homelessness in English homelessness policy fails to take account of homeless mother’s complex family circumstances and can reinforce family separation
  • Homeless mothers are situated at the intersection of several policy domains that are not sufficiently aligned to prevent them falling through the gaps between
  • The support offered to homeless mothers and the expectations placed on them can fail to acknowledge situations of poverty
  • The way in which temporary housing is delivered to homeless women presents significant challenges for parenting
  • Homeless mothers experience barriers to accessing housing and support, leaving them feeling ‘forgotten’ by the services designed to help them
  • Homeless mothers feel stigmatised by some of the policies and professionals they encounter
  • Homeless mothers bear the consequences of the actions of others – usually male partners

Authors: Dr Emma Bimpson (Sheffield Hallam University), Dr Kesia Reeve (Sheffield Hallam University) and Dr Sadie Parr (Sheffield Hallam University)














In this webinar authors, Dr Emma Bimpson and Dr Kesia Reeve, outline the main findings of the research:




Date: February 11, 2020 9:00 am

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