Addressing Oregon’s Runaway and Homeless Youth by naq52275

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									Addressing Oregon’s
   Runaway and
  Homeless Youth

       Oregon Runaway and
         Homeless Youth
           Work Group


        November 16, 2004
Charge of the Work Group

 Study the issues affecting Oregon’s
  homeless youth
 Report and make recommendations to
  the Joint Interim Committee on Human
  Services
Findings: Who are Oregon’s runaway
and homeless youth?

                    Most age 15 – 16
                    Slightly more females
                     than males
                    Majority Caucasian;
                     minorities, primarily
                     Native American and
                     Hispanic
                    26% are dropouts
Findings: How many homeless?

              Difficult to estimate since
               Oregon lacks coordinated
               data collection
              Most recent estimate is
               nearly 24,000
              Many more are homeless
               with their parents
Findings: How many runaway?

   Runaways are dependency status offenders
   Logged when parents or guardians report
   LEDS: more than 10,000 reports of
    runaways in 2003
   OYA: 2,359 youth processed by the juvenile
    system and 6,817 referrals received by
    county juvenile departments in 2003
Findings: Why are they homeless?

             Family dysfunction, e.g.
              family violence, abuse and
              neglect, poor parenting
             Economic problems, e.g.
              lack of affordable housing,
              employment or insurance
             Residential instability (when
              discharged from residential
              placement without income
              or housing)
Findings: What happens to youth who
are homeless?

   Shelter staff report health
    and behavior problems,
    e.g. substance abuse,
    mental health, disabilities
   Homelessness has
    adverse affect on youth
    development
   At-risk for criminal
    behavior or as victims
Findings: Why aren’t parents
accountable?

   Families have numerous problems: violence,
    abuse or neglect, substance abuse, mental
    illness, disabilities, poor parenting skills,
    unemployment, incarceration, or
    homelessness
   Communities have few options to hold
    families accountable or deal with parents
    who do not provide care for their children
Findings: Gaps in Current Services

   Federal programs in just 7
    counties
   Few services for
    prevention
   Barriers: access,
    affordability, lack or
    coordination
   Parents resort to filing
    charges to access services
Recommendations

1. Designate the Oregon Commission on
   Children and Families (OCCF) responsible
   for statewide planning of services to
   homeless youth and their families
  – Runaway/Homeless Coordinator position
  – Runaway/Homeless Subcommittee
Recommendations

2. Families of runaway and homeless
  youth need support to be held
  accountable to address critical
  problems
  –   Assess needs
  –   Identify state laws to be enforced
  –   Examine new strategies
Recommendations

3. Identify models of culturally competent,
 gender-specific, evidence-based
 service delivery for runaways, their
 families and homeless youth in urban
 and rural demonstration sites
Recommendations

4. A dedicated funding stream should be
 allocated to adequately and
 appropriately serve runaways, their
 families, and homeless youth
Next Steps


                Endorse Work Group
                 recommendations
                Support the legislative
                 concept

								
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