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Psychiatr Rehabil J. 2001 Fall;25(2):163-9.

Homeless mothers with severe mental illnesses and their children: predictors of family reunification.

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  • 1Northeast Program Evaluation Center, West Haven, CT 06516, USA.


Although many homeless women lose physical custody of children, prior studies have not examined predictors of reunification. To explore factors associated with separation and potential resources for reunification, baseline data from 1,542 homeless women with mental illness were used to identify unique characteristics of separated mothers. Separated mothers demonstrated greater vulnerabilities than accompanied mothers did, but more resources than women who are not mothers did. Of 698 separated mothers, 118 (17%) were reunited with children at 12 months. Changes in housing, psychosis, substance use and therapeutic relationships predicted reunification. Results suggest that programs for homeless mothers with severe mental illness can affect changes that promote family reunification.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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