Preventing Homelessness: Exploring How Clinical Psychologists Can Support Young People and Families

Prof Doc Thesis

Curtin, R. 2022. Preventing Homelessness: Exploring How Clinical Psychologists Can Support Young People and Families. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology
AuthorsCurtin, R.
TypeProf Doc Thesis

Aims: Many children and young people (CYP) experience disadvantages that might increase their risk of becoming homelessness. The literature outlines how homeless prevention efforts ought to focus on addressing structural causes for homelessness such as housing availability and affordability alongside prevention efforts for those at imminent risk of becoming homeless. Healthcare professionals have a duty to help prevent homelessness. There are no known studies that explore clinical psychologists (CP’s) views and experiences of preventing homelessness for CYP. The current study reviewed CPs positions on what the profession can do to help prevent homelessness for CYP and families.
Method: Eleven CPs experienced in working with CYP were interviewed using a semi-structured format. Thematic analysis was utilised to identify CPs views and experiences related to helping to prevent homeless for CYP.
Results: Two themes were identified (1) ‘Different layers of Impact and Intervention’ describing CPs ideas about identifying and assessing for various risks factors for homelessness in CYP and different ways CPs believe they can help to prevent homelessness. Some participants talked about how relative power such as how wider society imposes on CYP, psychologists, and team members capacity to change circumstances for CYP related to homelessness. Participants considered how to be strategic with ways they could advocate for CYP as well as highlighting CYP’s and communities’ resources. The findings also highlighted taking a collaborative and holistic approach to supporting CYP. Of note there were differences of ideas among participants about the role of CPs (2) ‘Personal and Professional Influences’ summarises participants experiences and resources that inform their ideas and practices related to preventing homelessness. How participants view the role of CPs and having support and direction appeared to be factors that can influence prevention work.
Conclusion: The findings support that CPs have a role in addressing prevention of homelessness for CYP and families and more can be done to support CPs in implementing interventions that address factors impacting risks of homelessness.

KeywordsClinical Psychology; Homelessness Prevention; Children and Young People
PublisherUniversity of East London
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Publication dates
Online14 Oct 2022
Publication process dates
Submitted03 Mar 2022
Deposited14 Oct 2022
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