ERIC Number: ED243024
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1983-Sep-26
Reference Count: N/A
Federally Supported Centers Provide Needed Services for Runaways and Homeless Youths. Report to the Chairman, Subcommittee on Human Resources, Committee on Education and Labor, House of Representatives.
General Accounting Office, Washington, DC. Div. of Human Resources.
The Runaway and Homeless Youth Act authorizes funds under the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974 for community-based centers that serve the shelter needs of runaway or homeless youths. To examine the effectiveness of the programs and the characteristics of program participants, the Government Accounting Office (GAO) visited 17 runaway and homeless youth centers in 13 states to observe program operations, gather statistical information from the administrators, and to interview 353 persons associated with the centers including residents, parents of former residents, staff members, and community service personnel. The GAO's findings were generally favorable and indicated that the programs were operating as intended by the statute. The majority of the youths sheltered were from the immediate geographic area and were not psychotic, violent, or substance-abusers. Staff members estimated that 20 to 40 percent had been physically abused and 14 to 35 percent were victims of parental neglect. Services offered included family and individual counseling, and outreach activities. Less than 50 percent of the youths were counseled after leaving the center. The majority of the centers were clean, well-kept, and adequately furnished, and had written rules of behavior. The very fact of the program's existence was cited as its greatest strength. Inadequate funding was cited as the major weakness. Participants' suggestions for improvement included expansion of the outreach and prevention services, increased networking with other agencies, expansion of activities and training for youths, and enhancement of the physical condition of the shelters. The GAO suggested that more attention should be given to aftercare, outreach to high-risk youths on the street, and activities that develop coping and living skills. (JAC)
Descriptors: Crisis Intervention, Delivery Systems, Federal Programs, Participant Characteristics, Program Effectiveness, Runaways, Youth Problems, Youth Programs
U.S. General Accounting Office, Document Handling and Information Services Facility, P.O. Box 6015, Gaithersburg, MD 20760.
Publication Type: Legal/Legislative/Regulatory Materials; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Congress of the U.S., Washington, DC. House Committee on Education and Labor.
Authoring Institution: General Accounting Office, Washington, DC. Div. of Human Resources.