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The FRPN provided funding to Temple University researchers to conduct a study examining the adoption, implementation, and consequences of a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, policy shift from excluding fathers as residents in family emergency shelters to including fathers as residents in family emergency shelters. This study explores this change through qualitative interviews conducted with three stakeholder groups: the City of Philadelphia Office of Homeless Services Staff (which oversees publicly funded shelter services), shelter staff representing nine out of the 10 emergency family shelters, and parents (mothers and fathers) residing in family shelters.
Both shelter staff and parents in the shelters report benefits and drawbacks to having fathers residing in family emergency shelters. While keeping families together strengthens families, living in a shelter alters some family dynamics, which can present new challenges. Recommendations for direct service, advocacy/training, research, and policy are presented in the study report.