Runaway Youth Report Released

Focuses on Knowledge and Access of Services

National Runaway SwitchboardThe National Runaway Switchboard (NRS) and the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) have released the results of their recent study that examines runaway youths and their knowledge and access of services. The researchers on the project were Michael R. Pergamit, Ph.D of the Urban Institute and Michelle Ernst, Ph.D of Chapin Hall at The University of Chicago.

They surveyed 50 youth in foster care – 25 in Chicago and 25 in Los Angeles County.

A few of the key findings are:

  • The youth sampled had less knowledge of services than homeless youth that typically comes from street experience including free meals, drop-in centers, street outreach and free showers.
  • Most youth in this sample have run away from foster care multiple times;
  • Youth typically run from foster care placements because they want to be with family and friends and/or they dislike their placement;
  • And the majority of sample youth ran away to a friend’s home. About one-third spent their first night at a relative’s home. Only three youth reported spending any time of their most recent runaway episode in an outside location such as a squat, a park, or an abandoned building.

Click here to access the report.