Focus Ireland report reveals mental and physical health problems faced by homeless children

A new report from Focus Ireland has found mental and physical health problems with children who have been homeless.

The charity interviewed 25 families who had exited homelessness between 2014 and 2016. Concerns about the long-term effects of homelessness on children have been raised by parents.

Mike Allen from Focus Ireland says the long-term effects on children were highlighted.

"The parents talked about the impact on family discipline, on their ability as parents to have authority over the children and that went on to impact on children in having difficulty in school, concentrating, doing homework," Mr Allen explained.

"And some of those effects on the children carry on, even when the children move into their new homes."

The report entitled, Finding a Home: Families’ Journeys out of Homelessness saw researchers Dr Kathy Walsh and Brian Harvey interview 25 families in Ireland who had exited homelessness between March 2014 and September 2016.

The recommendations from the report highlighted the urgent provision of social housing to enable timely exits from homelessness, the need for change in some local authority practices including the discontinuation of asking families to source their own emergency accommodation.

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