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Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Psychosocial Status of Homeless Children and Youth in Family Supportive Housing
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Shelter-based studies have documented risks to homeless children's development, but scant information is available about children residing in family supportive housing, a key strategy for preventing long-term homelessness. This study assessed the psychosocial and health status of 454 formerly homeless children living with their families in 17 supportive housing communities. Findings indicated that children had good access to physical health care. However, children faced significant psychosocial risks and manifested behavioral, emotional, and school challenges. Housing agencies lacked infrastructure or expertise in children's mental health. The authors propose that supportive housing provides a valuable but hitherto underused opportunity to support children's psychosocial functioning. (Authors)