This study takes advantage of a natural experiment to test the effectiveness of an intervention for inadequately housed families under investigation for child maltreatment. The proposed study simultaneously aims to inform social policy and service provision in the child welfare system, while investigating the processes involved in the relationship between family instability and adverse child development among at-risk families.
St. Louis, MO, USA
- To test the effectiveness of the housing intervention on family stability. We hypothesize that families receiving housing services will report greater family stability – as indicated by residential stability, housing quality, daily routines, noise and confusion, caregiver mental health, caregiver separations, and school changes – compared to child welfare services-as-usual.
- To examine housing intervention effects on child development. It is predicated that the housing intervention will have a significant positive impact on child physical and mental health, academic achievement, and developmentally adaptive behavior, relative to services-as-usual.
- To investigate the mediating role of family stability. We hypothesize that positive effects on child development associated with housing services will function through reductions in family instability