Housing-related stress and insecurity is a key source of vulnerability for women working with Pause. This includes poor housing quality, overcrowding, rent-related stress, rogue landlords and homelessness. Our quarterly reporting shows us that a number of the women Pause supports have been subject to Bedroom Tax and/or developed rent arrears after being involved in care proceedings. This adds another layer of stress to the trauma women are already facing, after recently having had a child removed from their care.
Safe, secure, and affordable home is so important, as it gives someone a stable foundation upon which to begin addressing other issues they face. That’s why we decided to focus our new season of In a Mother’s Mind on the housing needs and experiences of women who’ve had children taken into their care. In the first episode, we are joined by Polly Neate, CEO of Shelter. We discuss some of the practical and financial challenges this group of women face, and what can be done to better support them. We are also joined by Angela Frazer-Wicks, who is the Chair of Trustees for Family Rights Group, to hear about her own personal difficulties with housing before, during and after having her two children removed from her care.
Both Polly’s policy perspective and Angela’s personal experience illustrate just how complex and easily damaging the whole housing system is. However, they also both reiterate the importance of seeking support. Here are some charities and websites that offer advice and support services: