As the latest release from the Department of Housing shows a further increase in the number of children living in homeless accommodation to 3,821 in March, Barnardos urges the government to ensure that children experiencing the trauma of homelessness have access to a dedicated support worker.
Posted on Tuesday 30 April 2019
Suzanne Connolly, Barnardos CEO said: “At Barnardos we see first-hand the affect living in homeless accommodation can have on children and families. The Ombudsman for Children’s report into children living in family hubs published earlier this month echoes what we see day to day with the families we work with. Amongst the many issues highlighted in the report are feelings of shame, embarrassment, sadness and anger for the circumstances they are living in. Children also felt a sense of unfairness as they struggle to understand why they do not have a house to live in.
“Family Support services, such as those provided by Barnardos, can help children to understand how to manage the emotional, social and practical challenges of living in emergency accommodation. By providing children experiencing the trauma of homelessness with a dedicated support worker the Government could make sure they get the tools they need to cope with the challenges they face.
“Living in institutionalised settings is becoming normalised as parents can now count the number of Christmases and birthdays their child has spent in homeless accommodation. But children are acutely aware that this is not normal. It is critical that the government place a six month cap on the use of emergency accommodation to house families and to put better supports in place for children who are experiencing homelessness”.
Notes to editor:
The Ombudsman for Children – No Place Like Home Report: