“The Propellers of My Life” The Impact of Domestic Violence Transitional Housing on Parents and Children

Leila Wood, Maggy McGiffert, Rachel A. Fusco, Shanti Kulkarni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Housing and homelessness are frequent issues facing domestic violence (DV) survivors and their children. Several DV programs provide transitional housing (DVTH) to address the housing needs of DV survivors and their children. Despite wide use, little is known about the impact of DVTH, especially on child and parenting related needs and outcomes. Multiple structured interviews (82) were conducted with 27 parents with minor children living in DVTH in order to explore housing program experiences. Thematic analysis techniques produced three themes and seven subthemes about DVTH impact on parenting and child wellness. Overarching themes include: (1) DVTH helps to strengthen the parent–child relationship through a focus on family connection and health; (2). Transitional housing provides an opportunity for family stability via housing, material, and economic stability; (3). Time at DVTH allows family to access a diverse range of trauma-informed resources and social support to meet family goals. Barriers to these potential impacts are explored. Implications for practice with youth and parents include the need for extensive mental health and legal advocacy, programmatic models that emphasize resources, safety and the transition to permanent housing, and build on family strengths. Further research is needed to evaluate DVTH program outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)883-897
Number of pages15
JournalChild and Adolescent Social Work Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Children exposed to domestic violence
  • Domestic violence
  • Housing
  • Parenting
  • Poverty
  • Trauma-informed care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • General Social Sciences


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