ERIC Number: ED332114
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Runaways: A Silent Crisis.
Ellenwood, Audrey E.; And Others
This paper discusses several factors that contribute to running away, characteristics of runaways, and approaches to dealing with runaway youth. The decision of a youth to run away is usually the climax of several smaller events that have built over time and contribute to the youth's feeling out-of-control at home, in school, and in society. Peers are highly influential in a youth's decision to run. While runaways seek a more tolerable existence, their hopes and dreams diminish as they try to fulfill even their most basic needs of food and shelter. Runaways' economic and emotional dependencies have been associated with a host of problems such as theft, sexual promiscuity, prostitution, and drug use. Because the dimensions of the problem of runaway youth are not well understood, it is impossible to prescribe precise interventions. A runaway has three primary options to consider: (1) returning to the family; (2) living in a foster or group home; or (3) remaining on the streets. Whatever the choice, it will have a major impact on the runaway's life. Without support or counsel the first two will be problematic solutions. If the third option is elected the chances of successful adaptation to society will become increasingly remote. Mental health professionals and school personnel can provide or arrange individual and family interventions, offer support and encouragement, and, therefore, can help the youth communicate, cope, and adjust. (LLL)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the National Conference on Troubled Adolescents (Milwaukee, WI, April 12, 1991).