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J Soc Serv Res. 2011 Oct;37(5):457-468.

'Don't Leave Me Hanging': Homeless Mothers' Perceptions of Service Providers.

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  • 1University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE.


Few interventions have been developed for substance-abusing homeless mothers. Among those interventions, high dropout rates (up to 85%) are consistently reported. Understanding homeless mothers' experiences with service providers may be an important first step to understanding ways to increase treatment engagement. Therefore, the current study used qualitative methods to gain a better understanding of homeless mothers' perceptions of service providers. A total of 28 mothers who were currently residing at a homeless shelter in a Midwestern city participated in three focus groups. Overall, mothers held negative perceptions of service providers related to understanding, support, and fear. Based upon this study's findings, recommendations are offered to improve service delivery and guide future research.

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