SciCombinator

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Concept: Street children

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BACKGROUND: While homelessness among youth is a serious problem, there is little information about evidence-based interventions for homeless youth. In cooperation with professionals and youths, Wolf (2012) developed Houvast (Dutch for ‘grip’): a strengths based method grounded in scientific and practice evidence. The main aim of Houvast is to improve the quality of life of homeless youths by focusing on their strengths, thus stimulating their capacity for autonomy and self-reliance.Method/Design: The effectiveness and fidelity of Houvast will be tested in ten Dutch services for homeless youth which are randomly allocated to an intervention group (n = 5), or a control group which provides care as usual (n = 5). Measurements of both objective and subjective quality of life and secondary outcomes (mental and physical health, substance use, coping, resilience, psychological needs, care needs, working relationship with the professional and attainment of personal goals) will be conducted among homeless youths (n = 251). Youths in both groups will be interviewed by means of a structured interview at baseline, at time of ending care or after having received care for six months (T1) and at nine months after baseline (T2). Model fidelity will be tested around T1. DISCUSSION: This study is unique as it includes a large number of homeless youths who are followed for a period of nine months, and because it focuses on a strengths based approach. If the Houvast method proves to be effective in improving quality of life it will be the first evidence-based intervention for homeless youth.Trail registration: Netherlands Trail Register (NTR): NTR3254.

Concepts: Scientific method, Poverty, Intervention, Youth, Interview, Homelessness, Street children, Maslow's hierarchy of needs

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This study considers risk associated with family homelessness for school functioning and experimental evidence on the effects of different housing interventions over time. Students in homeless families (N = 172; Mage = 7.31; SD = 4.15) were randomized to housing interventions that focus on acute risks (community-based rapid rehousing), chronic risks (permanent subsidy), or usual care (UC). A matched group of low-income, housed students served as an additional reference for effects on attendance, school mobility, and reading and math achievement across 4 years. Findings partially support the chronic-risk hypothesis that family homelessness interferes with achievement through its relation to deep poverty. Children randomly assigned to UC perform as well or better than children assigned to housing interventions in this municipality.

Concepts: Poverty, Chaos theory, Education, The Chronic, Randomness, Homelessness, Street children, Busking

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Young people who are homeless and experiencing mental health issues are reluctant to use relevant services for numerous reasons. Youth are also at risk of disengaging from services at times of referral to additional or alternative services. This study aimed to identify barriers and facilitators for inter-service referrals for homeless youth with mental health issues who have already engaged with a service. Qualitative, semi-structured interviews were conducted with homeless youth (n = 10), homelessness support workers (n = 10), and mental health clinicians (n = 10). Barriers included: resource shortages; programs or services having inflexible entry criteria; complexity of service systems; homeless youth feeling devalued; and a lack of communication between services, for example, abrupt referrals with no follow up. Referral facilitators included: services providers offering friendly and client-centred support; supported referrals; awareness of other services; and collaboration between services. Relationships with service providers and inter-service collaboration appeared essential for successful referrals for homeless youth. These facilitating factors may be undermined by sector separation and siloing, as well as resource shortages in both the homelessness and mental health sectors. Service transitions may be conceptualised as a genuine service outcome for homeless youth, and as a basis for successful future service provision.

Concepts: Poverty, Facilitation, Youth, Homelessness, Street children, Service, Service provider, Service system

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The link between youth homelessness and mental health functioning was examined using state population-representative 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) data. The moderating role of victimization and perceived teacher support also was examined. Consistent with hypotheses, results indicated that homelessness was associated with greater mental health challenges, more victimization, and less teacher support. The association between homelessness and mental health was not moderated by perceived teacher support. However, victimization experiences served as a moderator such that more victimization exacerbated the effect of homelessness on mental health challenges. This study supports the utility of the YRBS for gaining understanding of the experiences and needs of youth experiencing homelessness and adds to the growing literature on predictors of individual differences in mental health functioning of these vulnerable youth.

Concepts: Psychology, Poverty, Experience, The Link REIT, Homelessness, Support, Street children, Moderation

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People experiencing homelessness are at increased risk of, and have poorer outcomes from, a range of physical long-term conditions (LTCs). It is increasingly recognised that interventions targeting people who are homeless should be tailored to the specific needs of this population. This systematic review aims to identify, describe and appraise trials of interventions that aim to manage physical LTCs in homeless adults and are delivered by healthcare professionals.

Concepts: Biology, Poverty, Management, Homelessness, Street children, Homelessness in the United States

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More than 26 000 Australians aged 12-24 years experience homelessness, yet data on the health status of homeless youth remain limited. The aim of this study was to describe the health of young people attending a youth health service in Western Sydney who were experiencing homelessness.

Concepts: Poverty, Youth, Homelessness, Street children, Sydney, Young

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Youth experiencing homelessness have elevated rates of mental illness and substance use compared to the general population. However, the extent to which underlying mental health issues may contribute to substance use as a way to manage symptoms and whether mental health treatment may reduce risk for substance use is unclear. This paper investigated these relations in a community sample of homeless youth.

Concepts: Medical terms, Poverty, Mental health, Mental disorder, Schizophrenia, Mental illness, Homelessness, Street children

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Guided by a bioecological model, this study examines variability in infant mental health by maternal work schedule in the context of poverty. More time in irregular work schedules, but not fixed night/evening schedules, predicts maternal depression and subsequent behavior problems in infants.

Concepts: Psychology, Infant, Poverty, Mental health, Breastfeeding, Maternal bond, Infant mortality, Street children

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This study examines the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in different regions of India, their socio-demographic indicators, and the presence of hidden population infected with HIV. Secondary data analyzed were obtained from national and international agencies. Considering the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in India, the low-prevalence regions in the last decade have shown a steady increase in recent years. Productive age, urbanization, male gender, lower level of education, minority religions, low income, and mobile occupations are associated with HIV pandemic. The hidden population vulnerable to HIV/AIDS are: street children, homeless population, and refugees. These observations can help map the high-risk behavior groups and formulate targeted strategies to curb the HIV menace.

Concepts: AIDS, Africa, Poverty, Gender, Tuberculosis, South Africa, Homelessness, Street children

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The increasing number of children running away from home in Bangladesh is a major concern, and in need of critical attention. This yearlong study explores why children leave home with a sample of street children in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Purposive sampling from three locations in Dhaka yielded a sample of 75 homeless children aged 10-17. For each participant, a 60-90min in-depth qualitative interview was conducted multiple times. While the dominant explanations rely on poverty or abuse, the findings of this study reveal that the cause is actually three heads of a Hydra monster: poverty, abuse, and family disorganization and their interactions. It shows that the primary reasons for children breaking from their family are all interrelated. The findings from this study are likely to add knowledge regarding the issues and may lead to preventative interventions for street children and their families.

Concepts: Family, Poverty, Homelessness, Street children, Hydra, Bangladesh, R.E.M., Lernaean Hydra