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Welfare Reform on the Web (January 2010): Homelessness - UK

Family life: the significance of family to homeless young people

J. Monfort

Centrepoint, 2009

Data gathered from interviews with 60 homeless young people and 117 questionnaires show that family breakdown is a root cause of homelessness and that conflicts often arise because of communication failure. The report calls for greater investment in and promotion of mediation services, more early intervention and support for struggling families, and for the personal, social and health education curriculum to include lessons in communication skills and dealing with disagreements.

Preventing homelessness due to domestic violence: providing a safe space or closing the door to new possibilities

G. Netto, H. Pawson and C. Sharp

Social Policy and Administration, vol. 43, 2009, p. 719-735

Domestic violence has long been recognised as a contributory factor to homelessness in the UK, with women being most affected. Recent government policy has promoted Sanctuary Schemes, under which victims are supported to remain in their own houses, protected against further attack from outside by the installation of panic buttons, extra locks, etc. Once the extra security has been installed, women are expected to take more responsibility for their own safety, for instance by calling the police if attacked. Drawing on analysis of the literature and empirical work, this article compares the experiences of women who have used traditional forms of support and Sanctuary services. It is argued that Sanctuary schemes are not appropriate for all and could make it more difficult for women who wish to move to do so.

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