Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Chang, Janet


Single mothers with young children living in poverty often experience various disadvantages, especially when they have mental health issues. They are a vulnerable population and face challenges such as poverty, homelessness, and low paying jobs. Homeless mothers and their children often have difficulty in finding means to survive and obtaining basic needs. The purpose of this study was to explore the quality and availability of mental health resources to homeless mother and their children. Ten participants were chosen outside of a homeless shelter in the City of Riverside. The study was a qualitative design conducted through face-to-face interviews.

This study found that most participants in the study have utilized mental health services in their life and most found the services adequate. However, when asked what services they needed the most, more than half of the participants stated needing housing, employment, and food. Less than half of the participants stated needing more mental health services like therapy or rehabilitation services. The study also revealed that half of the participants utilized mental health services for their children and another half have not. With regards to working with a social worker, only four of the ten participants have done so and said they were helpful. Although one stated it was a failure, the remaining five have never worked with a social worker or cannot recall doing so. As a social worker, it can be recommended to actively provide housing and employment resources for their clients that are in need of basic necessities to survive. Another recommendation is for the social worker to acquire their clients’ perception of their needs and working from there to obtain those needs.

Included in

Social Work Commons