Working together to tackle child homelessness
5 March 2009
Thousands of children in Scotland are homeless and the reality of this can have a devastating impact on their lives. That’s why leading housing and homelessness charity, Shelter Scotland, is throwing the spotlight on children and homelessness at major one-day conference on March 24, 2009.
The conference, Working Together to House Scotland’s Children, will examine how organisations can work more effectively to help children.
During the last year, there were around 24,000 children living in families assessed as homeless (1) and many thousands more in overcrowded or run-down housing. And there were just over 7,100 dependent children living in temporary accommodation across the whole of Scotland on the 31st March 2008 (2).
Bad housing has a devastating impact on the life chances of children. Research shows that children living in bad housing are nearly twice as likely as other children to leave school without any qualifications.
In addition, children living in acute bad housing are twice as likely to not attend school compared to children who are living in adequate housing. And children living in bad housing are five times more likely to lack a quiet place to do their homework as other children.
The specialist conference will look specifically at new Scottish Government guidance on acting in the best interests of children and the latest developments in policy and practice across children, housing and homelessness sectors. Speakers will include Adam Ingram, Minister for Children and Early Years.
Graeme Brown, Director of Shelter Scotland said: “The reality of homelessness is very unsettling and disruptive for children. Bad housing and homelessness can have serious long-term consequences for children’s health and well being, happiness and their education.
“It is vital that all organisations providing services for homeless children work together to provide the best support possible, and our conference will explore some of the ways we can tackle the effects of homelessness and bad housing on children.
“Homelessness and poor housing denies children their rights to a safe and secure home, and should be avoided at all costs.”
For more information on the conference or to book online, visit http://scotland.shelter.org.uk/events.
Alternatively call Hazel Wilson on 0844 515 2465 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors:
1. Over 40,000 households were assessed as homeless during 2007-8, in which there were around 24,000 children. Statistical Bulletin: Operation of the Homeless Persons Legislation in Scotland: national and local analyses 2007/8.
2. On March 31st, 2008 there were 9,518 households living in temporary accommodation in Scotland – in these households there were just over 7,100 dependent children. Statistical Bulletin: Operation of the Homeless Persons Legislation in Scotland: national and local analyses 2007/8.
3. Shelter believes everyone should have a home and helps 170,000 people a year fight for their rights, get back on their feet, and find and keep a home. We also tackle the root causes of Britain's housing crisis by campaigning for new laws, policies and solutions.
4. Spokespeople are available for interview, telephone the media office on 0844 515 2442. An ISDN line number is available for broadcast interviews.