Beyond Child Welfare — Theories on Child Homelessness

Washington and Lee Journal of Civil Rights and Social Justice, Vol. 21, p. 16, 2014

SMU Dedman School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 169

39 Pages Posted: 8 Apr 2015

See all articles by Jessica Dixon Weaver

Jessica Dixon Weaver

Southern Methodist University - Dedman School of Law

Date Written: 2014

Abstract

According to recent federal data from 2013, the number of children who experience homelessness in the United States has reached an astonishing 2.5 million. Among industrialized nations, America has a one of the highest poverty rates among children, peaking at 22% in 2010. This Article considers why there is an ambivalent and sometimes hostile response to chronic, persistent poverty among families with young children. Various reports on the state of homeless families state that the cause of homelessness is a combination of lack of affordable housing, extreme poverty, decreasing government support, domestic violence, the challenge of raising children alone, and insufficient working wages. Homeless families with children comprise 37% of the total homeless population, and families of color are overrepresented within this number, making up 61% of the group. This article addresses the color of child homelessness and how various theories on poverty and laws designed to assist impoverished parents have created categorizations of the deserved and the undeserved poor. In an effort to transform the poverty dialogue, this article sets forth that vulnerability theory and the principle of subsidiarity can be utilized as a means to transcend identity categories and recognize both state and community responsibility to provide more comprehensive support for homeless children within families.

Suggested Citation

Weaver, Jessica Dixon, Beyond Child Welfare — Theories on Child Homelessness (2014). Washington and Lee Journal of Civil Rights and Social Justice, Vol. 21, p. 16, 2014; SMU Dedman School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 169. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2583837

Jessica Dixon Weaver (Contact Author)

Southern Methodist University - Dedman School of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 750116
Dallas, TX 75275
United States
2147682641 (Phone)
2147683142 (Fax)

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