Greta Yates and Michael J. Silverman

Needs of Children Experiencing Homelessness who are Living in Shelters: A Qualitative Investigation of Perceptions of Care Workers to Inform Music Therapy Clinical Practice

Greta Jean Yates, Michael Joseph Silverman

Abstract


On a single night in January in 2014 there were 194,000 children living with their families in shelters in the United States (National Center on Family Homelessness, 2015). A typical family experiencing homelessness consists of a single mother with two to three children. Children experiencing homelessness are more likely to face academic, social, and emotional problems compared to children in poverty. As there is currently a dearth of peer reviewed publications related to music therapy with children experiencing homelessness, the purpose of this study was to explore the perceived needs of children living in a homeless shelter through interviews with care workers and apply results to the music therapy clinical practice. Participants were seven staff members employed at a shelter for women and children experiencing homelessness in the Midwestern part of the United States. Data analysis was based upon Braun and Clarke’s (2006) six phases of thematic analysis. Emerging themes included: (a) staff need to be positive role models and provide trusting and affectionate relationships, (b) older children require programming and opportunities for communication and emotional support, (c) wellbeing must be screened and monitored, and (d) routine and expectations are needed to promote a calm living environment. Implications for music therapy clinical practice, limitations, and suggestions for future research concerning music therapy with children experiencing homelessness are provided.

Keywords


homeless children, care workers; experiences; qualitative; music therapy

Full Text:

HTML

References


American Music Therapy Association. (2014). AMTA Member Survey and Workforce Analysis. Retrieved from www.musictherapy.org

Bassuk, E. L., Rubin, L., & Lauriat, A. S. (1986). Characteristics of sheltered homeless families. American Journal of Public Health, 76(9), 1097–1101. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03540080062031

Bassuk, E. L., Weinreb, L. F., Dawon, R., Perloff, J. N., & Buckner, J. C. (1997). Determinants of behavior in homeless and low-income housed preschool children. Pediatrics, 100(1) 92–100. doi: 10.1542/peds.100.1.92

Buckner, J. C. (2008). Understanding the impact of homelessness on children: Challenges and future research directions. American Behavioral Scientist, 51(6),651 721–736. doi:10.1177/0002764207311984

Burt, M. R., Aron, L. Y., Douglas, T., Valente, J., Lee, E., & Iwen, B. (1999). Homelessness: Programs and the People They Serve, Summary. Urban Institute. Retrieved from www.urban.org

Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3(2),77–101. doi:10.1191/1478088706qp063oa

Edwards, J. E. (2012). We need to talk about epistemology: Orientations, meaning, and interpretation within music therapy research. Journal of Music Therapy, 49, 372–394. doi: 10.1093/jmt/49.4.372

Fairchild, R., Thompson, G., & McFerran, K.S. (2016). Exploring the meaning of a performance in music therapy for children and their families experiencing homelessness and family violence. Music Therapy Perspectives. doi: 10.1093/mtp/miw004

Hicks-Coolick, A., Burnside-Eaton, P., & Peters, A. (2003). Homeless children: Needs and services. Child and Youth Care Forum, 32(4), 197–210. doi: 10.1023/A:1024112015196

Molnar, J. (1988). Home is where the heart is: The crisis of homeless children and families in New York City. New York: Bank Street College of Education.

National Center on Family Homelessness. (2015). What is family homelessness? Retrieved from www.familyhomelessness.org

National Child Traumatic Stress Network. (2005). Facts on trauma and homeless children. Retrieved from http://www.nctsnet.org/nctsn_assets/pdfs/promising_practices/Facts_on_Trauma_and_Homeless_Children.pdf

Rescoria, L., Parker, R., & Stolley, P. (1991). Ability, achievement, and adjustment in homeless children. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 61(2), 210–220. doi: 10.1037/h0079236

Rolvsjord, R. (2010). Resource-oriented music therapy in mental health care. University Park, IL.:Barcelona.

Staum, M. J. (1993). A music/nonmusic intervention with homeless children. Journal of Music Therapy, 30, 236–262. doi: 10.1093/jmt/30.4.236

Staum, M. J., & Broton, M. (1995). Issues in music for children in a homeless shelter: Social objectives and choice of reinforcers. Journal of Music Therapy, 32, 248–264. doi: 10.1093/jmt/32.4.248

Stige, B. & Aarø, L.E. (2011). Invitation to community music therapy. NY.: Routledge.

Stige, B., Malterud, K., & Midtgarden, T. (2009). Toward an agenda for evaluation of qualitative research. Qualitative Health Research, 19(10), 1504–1516. doi: 10.1177/1049732309348501.

United States Department of Education. (2004). Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program: Title VII-B of The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. Washington, DC: United States Department of Education, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education.

United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. (2014). The 2014 annual homeless assessment report (AHAR) to congress, Part 1 point-in time estimates of homelessness. United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Zima, B. T., Bussing, R., Bystritsky, M., Widawski, M. H., Belin, T. R., & Benjamin, B. (1999). Psychosocial stressors among homeless children: Relationship to behavioral and depressive symptoms. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 69(1), 127–133. doi: 10.1037/h0080389




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15845/voices.v16i3.887

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.




Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy (ISSN 1504-1611)