This study sought to broaden and deepen understanding of homelessness amongst families through investigating their experiences as citizens, rather than clients of services, over an 18-month period.
Jean McCaughey wrote the first Australian study to recognise and investigate homelessness amongst families with children in 1992.
Much of what we have learnt about homelessness experienced by families since 1992 is about the prevalence and duration of homelessness; identification of families vulnerable to, or at risk of, homelessness; and the efficacy of service interventions.
This study sought to broaden and deepen understanding of homelessness amongst families through investigating their experiences as citizens (rather than clients of services) over an 18-month period. It investigated how they cared for their children and went about their lives during and after periods of homelessness, the interactions they had with a range of people and organisations, and their perspectives and reflections on their experiences.
This report is the result of collaboration between researchers at Swinburne University of Technology (Swinburne) and Hanover Welfare Services (Hanover). The research method was longitudinal and qualitative. It involved 152 in-depth interviews, over three waves, with the adults and some adolescent children in 57 families. Most were single-parent families (40 single mothers and six single fathers), with the others being couple families and other caring arrangements.