Research: Impact of homelessness on children - research with teachers

By: Kantar Public  Published: December 2017


Homeless children are commuting long distances to school, facing insecurity over where they'll be staying each night, and struggling to sleep or study in overcrowded or poor accommodation.

Summary

This research examines the impacts of homelessness on children seen through eyes of teachers and education professionals. Kantar Public, on behalf of Shelter, carried out qualitative interviews in ten different schools across the country.

“Homelessness has a massive negative impact on children, on their mental health and their attainment in school and just their life chances.” (Secondary school teacher)

The research identifies impacts on children's:

  • Mental health, attitudes and behaviours
  • Educational attainment
  • Clothing and possessions
  • Health and hygiene
  • Social (including peer and teacher) relations

Over-crowded accommodation, long commutes, instability, and lack of access to facilities in the home were identified as key problems. The research also found negative impacts on teachers themselves, who felt unable to help their students.

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