Transient families

Children and families who move more frequently between local authorities include homeless families, asylum seekers and refugees, gypsy, traveller and Roma families and families experiencing domestic abuse.

A parent’s homelessness or placement in temporary accommodation, often at a distance from previous support networks, can result in or be associated with transient lifestyles. There is a risk the family will fall through the net and become disengaged from health, education and other support systems. There may also be a reduction in previously available family / community support.

Temporary accommodation, for example bed and breakfast accommodation or women’s refuges, may present additional risks e.g. where other adults are also resident who may pose a risk to the child.

Families that move frequently can find it difficult to access the services they need. For those already socially excluded, moving frequently can worsen the effects of this exclusion and increase isolation.

Some families in which children are harmed move home frequently to avoid contact with concerned agencies, so that no single agency has a complete picture of the family.