Partnering to Independence: A Residential Care Response Keeping Young Homeless Parents and Children Safe and Together

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Seymour, Kathryn
Batchelor, Samantha
Schneidereit, Alison
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2020
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Abstract

San Miguel Family Center in New South Wales, Australia, provides support in short-medium term housing for young homeless parents and their children, followed by post-exit outreach support of up to 36 months. The service was developed and is independently operated by the Australian Lasallian charity yourtown. San Miguel’s holistic model of intensive long-term support aims to fill a key gap in the child protection system by simultaneously addressing homelessness, parenting, independent living skills, and child safety. Parents as young as 16 years, and their partners, come to the service with their children or during the last trimester of pregnancy. Many have grown up in out-of-home care, some have already lost children to state care and all are at risk of losing children to care. San Miguel facilitates parent–child reunification and prevents family breakdown where possible. In this case study narrative, we discuss the model in practice and outline key aspects of the service. We conclude by looking to the future, discussing key challenges, lessons learned, and tensions in the model.

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Residential Treatment for Children & Youth

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37

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4

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Subject

Policy and administration

Social work

Psychology

Social Sciences

Psychology, Clinical

Young parents

homelessness

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Seymour, K; Batchelor, S; Schneidereit, A, Partnering to Independence: A Residential Care Response Keeping Young Homeless Parents and Children Safe and Together, Residential Treatment for Children & Youth , 2020, 37 (4), pp. 314-326

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