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The Evidence Hour: Child Maltreatment & Housing Stress Resources

March Evidence Hour Follow up


Center for Victim Research’s webinar series, The Evidence Hour, showcases a recent systematic review* or meta-analysis about victimization, trauma, or victim services. Each webinar features an author of the research and a practitioner discussant who will review the findings and reflect on what they mean for victim service providers and researchers.

In March, we discussed the article: “Association of Housing Stress With Child Maltreatment: A Systematic Review” by Caroline Chandler et al. (2020) in Trauma, Violence, & Abuse. [Email the Center for Victim Research Librarian for article access]. The recording is available on our YouTube channel.

Related Research on Child Maltreatment:

  • Housing instability and child welfare: Examining the delivery of innovative services in the context of a randomized controlled trial by Cyleste Collins et al. (2020). Children & youth services review. This ongoing study followed families in a five-year “Pay for Success” program in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. The program followed a Housing First philosophy, employing trauma-informed approaches to address housing, mental health, and monetary needs to help families reunite and achieve stability. While results on program’s effect on housing stability were mixed, the program staff and evaluators found that inter-agency collaboration and flexible funding allowed “service providers to focus on the real-time needs of at-risk families, and giving workers more freedom and autonomy to deliver high-quality services…tailored to each family’s specific needs.” [Contact Librarian for article]
  • Family homelessness, subsequent CWS involvement, and implications for targeting housing interventions to CWS-involved families by Jason Rodriguez et al. (2020).Child abuse & neglect. Researchers followed families over 4 years in San Francisco, California and matched Child Welfare System data with homeless shelter data. When taking other factors into account, past shelter use was not strongly associated with child removal and other substantiated Child Welfare System cases. The researchers note that perhaps: “family shelter use influences observers’ decisions to report families, independently of family safety, risk, and CWS history.” This related Research Brief recommends long-term rent subsidy programs like Housing Choice Voucher can be appropriate interventions for most families with children who become homeless. [Contact Librarian for article]
  • Overcoming child maltreatment: A focus on social support and resiliency by Andia Azimi. (2019). Crime Victims’ Institute. This brief summarizes studies about what helps children adapt and adjust after experiencing child maltreatment. While other protective factors like personality traits and abuse characteristics affect outcomes, research points to interpersonal relationships as the biggest influence on children’s resiliency.

Related Resources from our Research2Practice Network:

*What are Systematic Reviews?

  1. A systematic review is the process of bringing together all available studies about a well-defined question, analyzing the quality of their study methods, and summarizing their findings.
  2. Systematic reviews often use a statistical practice called meta-analysis. This means combining data from multiple studies, to calculate the average effect of the intervention and find patterns.
  3. Because systematic reviews pool results from many experiments and rate the methods of each study, these reviews increase our confidence in the quality and consistency of the evidence and what it means for the field.

Basically, systematic reviews take a large amount of information about a complex issue from multiple sources and make that information more manageable and usable. These reviews can also help make sense of conflicting findings from different studies.

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