Since leaving the 2018 NAEH conference, I am now more sure than ever that we can and will end youth homelessness.
Nelson Mandela once said that “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” It is with this belief that we recognize Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month this February as an opportunity to educate ourselves and those around us about the prevalence of teen dating violence. Each year it is estimated that 1.5 million high school students in our country experience physical abuse from a dating partner. There are many resources available to provide support to victims and assist service providers and communities in their efforts to decrease the prevalence of dating violence among young people. [Read further...]
Research has identified faith and spirituality as a resilience factor for those subjugated to or at risk for sexual exploitation.1 However, far too often youth-serving organizations fail to attend to faith and spirituality when designing program services and in supporting mentoring relationships. Faith communities can be a major resource for these types of programs, yet we often do not include them in the conversation of serving victims/survivors of trafficking and at-risk youth. Engaging these communities not only benefits the mentees, but can potentially offer another support system for programs and mentors.
Stress is a natural component of everyday life. However, those who work in direct service professions (either as volunteers or career professionals) will likely encounter additional stress because of the nature of their responsibilities. These individuals walk alongside and support people who are navigating various stages of their healing journey. They are exposed to stories about past and current trauma, and such exposure can have a significant impact.1,2,3 Staff and mentors working with young people who have been commercially sexually exploited can experience what is referred to as vicarious trauma, secondary trauma, or secondary traumatic stress. This occurs when a staff or mentor goes beyond hearing about trauma to re-experiencing it along with the person.2,3,4 The continual exposure to traumatic material can result in both physical and psychological symptoms.5 The accumulation of this stress over a period of time increases the risk for compassion fatigue and burnout. Self-care and mindfulness can be effective ways for staff and mentors to manage the additional stressors of supporting victims/survivors.
Led by Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, Voices of Youth Count is an initiative to understand, address and prevent youth homelessness. Chapin Hall, using its substantial research and policy assets, has conducted the most comprehensive research to date on youth homelessness, incorporating youth voices to develop achievable solutions. This research creates a foundation on which we can build solutions – effective policies and practices – to end homelessness for young people. Today, Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago released results from an unprecedented national survey on unaccompanied youth homelessness in the United States. The study, Missed Opportunities: [Read further...]
Developed by MANY member agency Southwest Key Programs, the recently released Mi Hermana’s Keeper Toolkit is a promising practice guide that was developed based on a qualitative research study of the outcomes of the Family Keys Program, an OJJDP Best Practice Model created by Southwest to keep Latina youth from becoming formally involved with the juvenile justice system. The Mi Hermana’s Keeper Toolkit is for service providers, program administrators, researchers, policy analysts, and key stakeholders who are supporting Latina youth in prevention programs that aim to decrease the number of youth being referred to or placed in the juvenile justice [Read further...]
It’s the dog days of summer so most of us don’t even have school on our radars. But August is the perfect time to start planning for the year ahead. Education is the key to realizing an independent and healthy adulthood. It sets up access to opportunities for employment and career pathways. If you support a young person who is homeless or unstably housed, then you know firsthand that having a positive educational experience can be elusive from some students. School absences that result in knowledge gaps, transitions due to moving locations, access to clothing, hygiene and school supplies, unmet [Read further...]
May marks National Foster Care Awareness Month, which acknowledges foster parents, family members, volunteers, mentors, policymakers, child welfare professionals, and other members of the community who help children and youth in foster care find permanent homes and connections. This year, the theme for National Foster Care Month is “Empowering Caregivers, Strengthening Families,” which emphasizes the importance of identifying, developing, and supporting prospective and current foster parents and kinship caregivers. The website highlights best practices that have resulted in new and strengthened recruitment and retention strategies. Access the resources at https://www.childwelfare.gov/fostercaremonth/resources/. Resources are available for the following groups through childwelfare.gov: For Parents For [Read further...]
April marks National Child Abuse Prevention Month, which aims to raise public awareness of child abuse and neglect, recommit efforts and resources aimed at protecting children and strengthening families, and promote community involvement through activities that support the cause. The theme of this year’s Child Abuse Prevention Month initiative continues to mirror the theme of the 20th National Conference on Child Abuse and Neglect, “Building Community, Building Hope.” By ensuring that parents, caregivers, and other supportive adults have the knowledge, skills, and resources they need to care for children, we can help prevent child abuse and neglect by making meaningful [Read further...]
February marks Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. As we think about these issues and how to solve them, it is important to educate ourselves and others on a problem that has, in recent years, become very widespread. Here are some facts about teen dating violence from loveisrespect.org. Teen Dating Violence Is A Common Problem Nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year. One in three adolescents in the U.S. is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner, a figure that far exceeds rates of [Read further...]