Well-being of Young Children after Experiencing Homelessness

“Compared to national norms, young children who have stayed in shelter have higher risk for developmental delays and higher rates of behavioral challenges”

Using data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Family Options Study, Well-being of Young Children after Experiencing Homelessness (2017, OPRE Report No. 2017-06), examines the well-being of young children 20 months after staying in emergency homeless shelters with their families. The brief explores young children’s: pre-reading skills, pre-math skills, developmental delays, and behavior challenges. It discusses comparisons between children who experienced homelessness and national norms for children of the same age.

“Twenty months after staying in an emergency shelter with their families, children between 18 and 41 months were at somewhat higher risk for early developmental delays compared to national norms for children their age. They were at lowest risk for delays in their development of general activity and movement (although still at higher risk than national norms) and at highest risk for fine motor skill delays. Based on national norms, we would expect 84 to 88 percent of children to pass screening in all five domains assessed; however, only 77 percent of children who had been in shelter 20 months earlier passed all five domains.”2

Well-being of Young Children after Experiencing Homelessness HOMELESS FAMILIES RESEARCH BRIEF OPRE Report No. 2017-06 January 2017 by Scott R. Brown, Marybeth Shinn, and Jill Khadduri

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