85% of homeless families in the U.S. are headed by single women with children. It is also a fact that there is a high correlation between homeless women with children and domestic violence - 92% of these women have experienced severe physical or sexual abuse during their lifetimes. A good percentage of these women and children became homeless due to fleeing domestic violence.
The impact of homelessness on children is severe. 83% of these children have been exposed to at least one incidence of extreme violence. These children are 3 times more likely to experience emotional and behavioral problems than non-homeless children, experiencing anxiety, depression, withdrawal, delinquent or aggressive behavior.
There is a deep link between homelessness and foster care. Foster care has been identified as a childhood risk factor in predicting family homelessness during adulthood. Mothers with a childhood history of foster care placement are more likely to become homeless and they tend to become homeless at an earlier age than those who do not have a foster care history.
Homeless children are at particularly high risk for being placed in foster care.
12% of homeless children have been placed in foster care, compared to 1% of other children.
Homelessness is also a barrier to reunification for some families. At least 30% of children in foster care could return home if their parents had access to housing.
Children in foster care are more likely to experience anxiety, depression, disorders, substance abuse and become parents at a young age.