1AbstractHomelessness in Northern Ireland is increasing each year with 2009-2010statistics stating that 18,664 households presented as homeless (Northern Ireland.Department for Social Development, 2010). Pregnancy is not stated in this source as areason for homelessness; however, it can be an attributing cause. Domestic violencecontributes to 18% of the homeless statistics and with 30% of domestic violencebeginning in pregnancy (Lewis and Drife, 2005), there is a clear link in these results.Elsewhere, teenage birth rates account for 5.6% of total live births in Northern Ireland(Family Planning Agency, 2010). These pregnancies can result in a loss of accommodation with family, intimidation or harassment, or unsuitable accommodation,resulting in homelessness.Defining vulnerability is a challenge as everyone feels or becomes vulnerable atdifferent times of their lives depending on their social, political, historical or culturalcontext (Larkin, 2009). Vulnerable groups include those feeling marginalized, sociallyexcluded, or those with limited opportunities and income (Larkin, 2009). Pregnantwomen who find themselves homeless are extremely vulnerable as they face physical andpsychological problems, as well as inequalities in health. Lack of, or substandard,housing can have a serious effect on maternal and infant health. Therefore, thisassignment will look at
, a healthcare initiative which involves midwives toaddress the health needs for this vulnerable group.
, a government fundedinitiative,
was established in 1980 by a midwife to provide care and support for pregnantwomen and women with a child less than 5 years old experiencing homelessness byproviding accommodation and services when women are at their most vulnerable. This