Scope and purpose




НазваниеScope and purpose
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Appendix B:
Homelessness pathways – selected Australian research

Scope and purpose


This Appendix provides a selective review of Australian qualitative and quantitative empirical research exploring people’s pathways into, through and out of homelessness. It consequently includes studies that investigate one or more of the following:

  • Causal and trigger factors and causal processes that lead to initial and repeat episodes of homelessness, and to factors and processes explaining its duration or repetition;

  • Experiences and consequences of different types and degrees of homelessness;

  • Trajectories through forms of accommodation, including life-time housing-homeless pathways;

  • Patterns of service use and non-use while homeless (particularly patterns of ‘inappropriate’ service use);

  • Patterns of informal and formal help seeking and service use seen to assist exit from homelessness (in the short and longer term);

  • Analysis of current service and policy contexts (‘business as usual’ scenarios); and

  • Identification of good, better and best practice (‘appropriate services’) for particular groups, including evaluation studies of homelessness interventions across the service spectrum.


The review has three main purposes:

  • To provide a basis from which to identify research strengths and gaps relevant to understanding the dynamics and drivers of homelessness and the success or otherwise of homelessness interventions (see chapters 3 and 6);

  • To identify research, including key findings that could be used to develop pathways costing models relevant to Australian contexts;

  • To highlight the potential and pitfalls of longitudinal methodologies implemented in Australian contexts.


It focuses on those studies that have a longitudinal research design, whether prospective or retrospective. The vast majority of these references date from 2000 onwards; indeed this would have been a very short review had it been conducted even five years ago.


This does not claim to be a comprehensive compendium of existing research. The breadth of relevant material is such that an exhaustive literature search would have been impracticable. Moreover, while several of the projects reviewed were located via searches of international or Australian databases, the majority (particularly the most recent research and more applied policy research and evaluation) was discovered by internet and GOOGLE searches, word of mouth and publications like Parity (the monthly magazine of the Council for Homeless Persons (Victoria)).


A summary table of Australian longitudinal research is included as Appendix C.


Table B1 Outline of Sections

1 Ideal typical homelessness career paths: Looks at the data sources and methods used in attempts to identify ideal typical career paths.

3

2. Demographic subgroups: This is a pragmatic choice, reflecting the categorization prevalent in homelessness research, rather than indicating distinctive homeless pathways..

7

2.1 Young people

7

2.2 Families

23

2.3 Children in families

31

2.4 Older people

36

2.5 Gender

45

2.6 Indigenous contexts

48

2.7 People with refugee experiences

61

3. Disabling conditions: Identifies empirical research on the influence of substance abuse and disabling mental health problems on pathways into, through and out of homelessness.

64

3.1 Disabling mental illness

64

3.2 Disabling substance abuse

73

4. High risk transitions: Collates research on four sets of circumstances generally seen as strong predictors of homelessness, and four population groups for whom ‘early intervention’ strategies have been, or are being, developed..

78

4.1 Escaping domestic and family violence

78

4.2 Transition from prison

81

4.3 Transition from out-of-home care

85

4.4 Tenancy breakdown and housing crisis

90

5. Use of acute and emergency health services: Identifies research on ‘heavy and inappropriate’ use of hospital emergency departments and other health services.

94

6. Impact of different types of homelessness: Takes a different cut through the research material and identifies studies according to the type of homelessness they focus on, as a precursor to more fine-grained analysis of negative impacts.

97

7. Homeless population dynamics (and long term accommodation outcomes): Draws together quantitative estimates of the duration and patterning of homelessness for homeless populations in Australia and identifies the estimation methods used.

100

7.1 Methods and Interpretation

100

7.2 Estimates of the duration of homelessness

102

7.3 Estimates of the extent of repeat use of homelessness services

106
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