Author's School

Brown School

Author's Department

Social Work

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

Winter 2017

Originally Published In

Cityscape: A Journal of Policy Development and Research, Volume 19 Number 3, 2017. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Policy Development and Research,


The Family Options Study provides an unprecedented opportunity to investigate the troubling link between family homelessness and child maltreatment. The rigorous design uses multiple methods to probe the impact of housing interventions on family preservation and reunification and the underlying mechanisms. Results show that ending homelessness keeps families together; however, once separated, families continue to struggle to reunify with children. Permanent housing subsidies represent a more efficient approach to promoting family stability among homeless families compared with temporary housing with supportive services. Results introduce a new phase of family homeless research, practice, and policy; further investigation must consider broad scale approaches to keep families affordably housed in inclusive communities that protect child safety and well-being.


Originally published in Cityscape, Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Volume 19, Issue 3,

Included in

Social Work Commons