Youth who receive special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004) and especially young adults of transition age, should be involved in planning for life after high school as early as possible and no later than age 16. Transition services should stem from the individual youth’s needs and strengths, ensuring that planning takes into account his or her interests, preferences, and desires for the future.
Altschuler, D. M., & Brash, R. (2004). Adolescent and teenage offenders confronting the challenges and opportunities of reentry. Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice, 2, 72-87.
Aratani, Y. (2009). Homeless children and youth: Causes and consequences. National Center forChildren in Poverty. Retrieved from http://homeless.samhsa.gov/ResourceFiles/vthrrc0x.pdf (PDF, 14 pages)
Barber, C. C., Fonagy, P., Fultz, J., Simulinas, M., & Yates, M. (2005). Homeless near a thousand homes: Outcomes of homeless youth in a crisis shelter. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 75, 347‐355.
Bowman, D., Dukes, C., & Moore, J. (2012). Summary of the state of research on the relationship between homelessness and academic achievement among school-aged children and youth. Retrieved from http://center.serve.org/nche/downloads/nche_research_pub.pdf (PDF, 33 pages)
Chen, X., Thrane, L., Whitbeck, L. B., & Johnson, K. (2006). Mental disorders, comorbidity, and postrunaway arrests among homeless and runaway adolescents. Journal of Adolescent Research, 16(3), 379-402. Retrieved from http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/sociologyfacpub/34
Cooper, E. F. (2006). The runaway and homeless youth program: Administration, funding, and legislative actions. Retrieved from https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CB4QFjAAahUKEwjVvOKB94HJAhUE7SYKHT1JCgg&url=http%3A%2F%2Fresearch.policyarchive.org%2F1736.pdf&usg=AFQjCNEVEwK2HGvcjA9OfKtT2BJxf_UOhg&sig2=JaG3NQ10hbLJOaAKI8Fn7A (PDF, 15 pages)
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Greene, J., Sanchez, R., Manlove, J., Terry-Humen, E., Vandivere, S., Wertheimer, R.,…Ringwalt, C. L. (2002). Sexual abuse among homeless adolescents: Prevalence, correlates, and sequelae. Retrieved from http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/opre/fys/sex_abuse/reports/sexabuse_hmless/sex_abuse_hmless.pdf (PDF, 150 pages)
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Huntington, N., Buckner, J. C., & Bassuk, E. L. (2008). Adaptation in homeless children: An empirical examination using cluster analysis. American Behavioral Scientist, 51, 737-755.
Kaufman, J. G., & Widom, C. S. (1999). Childhood victimization, running away, and delinquency. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 36(4), 347-370.
Noell, J., Rohde, P., Ochs, L., Yovanoff, P., Alter, M. J., Schmid, S.,...Black, C. (2001). Incidence and prevalence of chlamydia, herpes, and viral hepatitis in a homeless adolescent population. Sexually Transmitted Diseases, 28(1), 4-10.
Nyamathi, A., Hudson, A., Greengold, B., Slagle, A., Marfisee, M., Khalilifard, F., & Leake, B. (2010). Predictors of substance use severity among homeless youth. Journal of Child Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing, 23(4), 214–222.
Obradovic, J., Long, J. D., Cutuli, J. J., Chan, C-K., Hinz, E., Heistad, D., & Masten, A. (2009). Academic achievement of homeless and highly mobile children in an urban school district: Longitudinal evidence on risk, growth, and resilience. Development and Psychopathology, 21, 491-518.
Pecora, P. J., Williams, J., Kessler, R. C., Downs, A. C., O’Brien, K., Hiripi, E., & Morello, S. (2003). Assessing the effects of foster care: Early Results from the Casey national alumni study. Retrieved from http://www.casey.org/Resources/Publications/pdf/CaseyNationalAlumniStudy_FullReport.pdf (PDF, 57 pages)
Pergamit, M. (2010). On the lifetime prevalence of running away from home. Urban Institute: Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://www.urban.org/publications/412087.html
Pergamit, M., & Ernst, M. (2010). Running away from foster care: Runaway youth’s knowledge and access of services. Retrieved from http://www.1800runaway.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Part-C-Youth-in-Foster-Care.pdf (PDF, 61 pages)
Rotheram-Borus, M., Song, J., Gwadz, M., Lee, M., Van Rossem, R., & Kooperman, C. (2003). Reductions in HIV risk among runaway youth. Prevention Science, 4(3), 173-187.
Samuels, J., Shinn, M., & Buckner, J. C. (2010). Homeless children: Update on research, policy, programs, and opportunities. Retrieved from http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/10/HomelessChildrenRoundtable/index.shtml
Sayfer, A. W., Thompson, S. J., Maccio, E. M., Zittel-Palamara, K. M., & Forehand, G. (2004). Adolescents’ and parents’ perceptions of runaway behavior: Problems and solutions. Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, 21, 495-512.
Sedlak, A., Finkelhor, D., Hammer, H., & Schultz, D. J. (2002). National incidence studies of missing, abducted, runaway, and thrownaway children - II. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Retrieved from http://www.kidfind.org/NISMART/196465-NISMART2.pdf (PDF, 12 pages)
Shinn, M., Schteingart, J. S., Williams, N. P., Carlin-Mathis, J., Bialo-Karagis, N., Becker-Klein, R., & Weitzman, B. C. (2008). Long-term associations of homelessness with children’s well-being. American Behavioral Scientist, 51, 789-810.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2004). Substance use among youths who had run away from home. The NSDUH Report. Office of Applied Studies: Rockville, MD. Retrieved from http://www.samhsa.gov/data/2k4/runaways/runaways.pdf (PDF, 3 pages)
Sullivan, P. M., & Knuston, J. F. (2000). The prevalence of disabilities and maltreatment among runaway children. Child Abuse and Neglect, 24(10), 1275–1288.
Terry, M. J., Bedi, G., & Patel, N. D. (2010). Healthcare needs of homeless youth in the United States. Journal of Pediatric Sciences, 2(17), 2-12.
Thompson, S. J., Bender, K. A., Lewis, C. M., & Watkins, R. (2008). Runaway and pregnant: Risk factors associated with pregnancy in a national sample of runaway/homeless female adolescents. Journal of Adolescent Health, 43(2), 125-132.
Thompson, S. J., & Pollio, D. E. (2006). Adolescent runaway episodes: Application of an estrangement model of recidivism. Social Work Research, 15, 142-149.
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Other Resources on this Topic
Tools & Guides
Research links early leadership with increased self-efficacy and suggests that leadership can help youth to develop decision making and interpersonal skills that support successes in the workforce and adulthood. In addition, young leaders tend to be more involved in their communities, and have lower dropout rates than their peers. Youth leaders also show considerable benefits for their communities, providing valuable insight into the needs and interests of young people
Statistics reflecting the number of youth suffering from mental health, substance abuse, and co-occurring disorders highlight the necessity for schools, families, support staff, and communities to work together to develop targeted, coordinated, and comprehensive transition plans for young people with a history of mental health needs and/or substance abuse.
Nearly 30,000 youth aged out of foster care in Fiscal Year 2009, which represents nine percent of the young people involved in the foster care system that year. This transition can be challenging for youth, especially youth who have grown up in the child welfare system.
Research has demonstrated that as many as one in five children/youth have a diagnosable mental health disorder. Read about how coordination between public service agencies can improve treatment for these youth.
Civic engagement has the potential to empower young adults, increase their self-determination, and give them the skills and self-confidence they need to enter the workforce. Read about one youth’s experience in AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC).