How can children facing adversity be protected against future risk of homelessness?
PHE ePoster Library. Grey C. 09/12/19; 274465; 28
Dr. Charlotte Grey
Dr. Charlotte Grey
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Abstract Introduction
Homelessness is a serious and complex societal issue with multiple causes and solutions. Dealing with homelessness involves both supporting people and addressing personal and structural causes occurring through the life-course – which include Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). We examine the relationship between ACEs and homelessness in Wales, and consider priority areas for early intervention.
Data was retrospective analysed from a cross-sectional national Welsh survey that took place in 2017 (n=2452). Outcome measures included ACEs; lifetime homelessness, and Childhood Resilience Assets (Child and Youth Resilience Measure). Pathways interviews with people experiencing homelessness (n=27) and services (n=16) explored their experiences and views.
Homelessness affects 1 in 14 of the Welsh population. More than 8.5 in ten of those experiencing homelessness have suffered at least one ACE, with half suffering 4+ ACEs compared to only 13% of the general population. Individuals who reported 4+ ACEs were 16 times more likely to go on to experience homelessness (95% CI 9.733, 26.430), but Childhood Resilience Assets were seen to be protective reducing this likelihood by half (OR 7.512, 95% CI 1.682, 33.553). From the interviews, early years/schools were reported as critical in supporting children with ACEs, and services through the life-course need to ACE-aware and able to cope with adverse behaviour resulting from ACEs.
These results demonstrate a clear link between suffering ACEs and experiencing homelessness in adulthood. Early intervention that prevents ACEs, combined with empowering and building resilience in at-risk children, is likely to contribute to reducing the risk of homelessness. External funding details
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