The purpose of this project is to foster cross-disciplinary discussion amongst researchers, policy makers and practitioners from which research directions and ultimately research questions can be formulated in the area of child protection.
To provide a basis for discussion, a scan of the literature examining the relationship between homelessness and child protection was undertaken. It was envisaged that the scan taken together with a range of other inputs, including the expert knowledge of the collaborators of the project, would help to identify the knowledge gaps and areas for future work. The scan was therefore conceived as a preliminary but necessary step in a longer journey. The defined task of the literature scan was to identify evidence of policies and programs that aim to support children’s wellbeing so as to reduce the risk or impact of child and/or family homelessness and associated factors such as parenting capacity.
This scan highlights both the scope and limitation of discussion around the relationship between homelessness and child protection. While it is acknowledged that as yet there is no robust Australian data to highlight children’s journeys or pathways between homelessness and child protection or vice versa, existing evidence points to the likelihood that some families, particularly those with multiple and complex needs, are both homeless and in contact with a child protection system.