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NCJ Number: 206883 Find in a Library
Title: Life Skill Service Needs: Perspectives of Homeless Youth
Journal: Journal of Youth and Adolescence  Volume:33  Issue:4  Dated:August 2004  Pages:331-338
Author(s): Ann Aviles; Christine Helfrich
Date Published: August 2004
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: Great Cities Institute
Chicago, IL 60607-7067
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study identified the service needs related to life-skill development from the perspective of sheltered homeless youth.
Abstract: The following questions were answered in the study: What needs are identified by homeless youth? What services do youth use and find helpful? What are barriers to accessing services? The setting for the study was the New Opportunities Shelter (NOS), an emergency-housing program for homeless youth ages 14 through 21 who are not wards of the State, including pregnant and parenting youth and their children. NOS provides beds for 10 females, 6 males, and 5 children, serving 200 youth per year. Residents can stay for up to 120 days, with an average length of stay of 90 days. NOS provides a case-worker to develop an individual plan to assist residents in next-step housing and self-sufficiency by addressing issues of schooling, job training, job searching, medical care, prenatal care, mental health services, substance abuse services, and family reunification. The data indicate that the types of services adolescents desire will vary according to their past experience and current circumstances. Many youth required basic needs such as food and shelter as a starting point for creating a stable environment. Although many services for youth exist, lack of trust combined with limited access to case managers discouraged youth from actively seeking needed services such as transportation, education, and employment. Service delivery and staff approach to working with homeless youth were identified as key factors in homeless adolescents' recognition and use of services. Implications of these findings are drawn for service providers as they plan and implement services for homeless youth. 1 table and 31 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile delinquency prevention
Index Term(s): Crisis shelters; Homeless children; Homeless persons; Juvenile case management; Juvenile shelter care; Life skills training; Social service agencies
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