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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 134650 Find in a Library
Title: Status Offenders in Los Angeles County: Focus on Runaway and Homeless Youth -- A Study and Policy Recommendations
Author(s): J Rotham; T G David
Corporate Author: University of California, Los Angeles
School of Social Welfare
United States of America

Los Angeles Dept of Children's Services
United States of America
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 195
Sponsoring Agency: Los Angeles Dept of Children's Services
Los Angeles, CA 90026
University of California, Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA 90024
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study uses interviews with 40 social welfare and law enforcement experts and eight runaway youth as well as social research literature to examine the problems of runaway and homeless youth or status offenders in Los Angeles County.
Abstract: This study revealed the intensive nature of the problem, although the extent of the phenomenon was not ascertained. Runaway and homeless youth come from highly disorganized families and are often the victims of physical or sexual abuse. About half the youth have not voluntarily left their homes, but were pushed out or encouraged to leave by parents. Fewer than half have a realistic prospect of being reunited with their families. Runaways and homeless youth suffer severe health and emotional problems, exhibiting stress and other psychological problems in excess of those experienced by non-runaways. The report authors recommend the establishment of a regional central intake center for the screening, diagnosis, and disposition of runaways and homeless youth. Interagency cooperation, staff training and development, and reevaluation of the design of the current Status Offenders' Detention Alternative program are measures that need to be taken by the appropriate agencies. Runaway and homeless youth should be handled outside of the court system; family mediation services and long-term transitional care are two alternatives for their disposition. Other recommendations involve a census of involved youth, school-based prevention programs, community education, and a special conference on secure detention of status offenders. 5 appendixes
Main Term(s): Homeless children; Runaways
Index Term(s): California; Juvenile case disposition; Juvenile status offenders; Programs for runaways
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