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NCJ Number: 69381 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: RUNAWAY YOUTH PROGRAM - OFFICE OF YOUTH DEVELOPMENT, DHEW (DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, EDUCATION, AND WELFARE) - MEMORANDUM
Author(s): A B MOSES
Corporate Author: US Dept of Health, Education, and Welfare
Youth Development Bureau
United States of America
Date Published: 1976
Page Count: 26
Sponsoring Agency: US Dept of Health, Education, and Welfare
Washington, DC 20201
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS 1976 MEMORANDUM DESCRIBES AND EVALUATES THE RUNAWAY YOUTH PROGRAM ADMINISTERED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, EDUCATION, AND WELFARE'S (HEW'S) OFFICE OF YOUTH DEVELOPMENT (OYD) UNDER PROVISIONS OF THE 1974 RUNAWAY YOUTH ACT.
Abstract: THE OYD IS AUTHORIZED TO PROVIDE GRANTS AND TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE TO LOCAL COMMUNITIES AND PRIVATE NONPROFIT AGENCIES TO DEVELOP TEMPORARY HOUSING AND SOCIAL SERVICES TO MEET THE IMMEDIATE NEEDS OF RUNAWAYS. WITH A $6 MILLION DOLLAR BUDGET, IT ALSO CONDUCTS RESEARCH ON RUNAWAY INCIDENCE AND BEHAVIOR. RUNAWAYS SHARPLY INCREASED DURING THE 1960'S, AND THEIR INTENTIONS WERE FINALLY PERCEIVED AS A RESPONSE TO PERSONAL AND FAMILY STRESS RATHER THAN CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR. TODAY, AN ESTIMATED 1 MILLION YOUTHS RUN AWAY ANNUALLY, BUT MOST ARE NOT REACHED BY THE LAW ENFORCEMENT SYSTEM. THE AVERAGE RUNAWAY IS A 14-YEAR-OLD GIRL FROM A MIDDLE CLASS FAMILY WHO IS GONE 3 TO 4 DAYS BUT DOES NOT STRAY FAR FROM HOME. BECAUSE RUNAWAYS HAVE FEW FINANCIAL RESOURCES AND ARE TOO YOUNG TO OBTAIN JOBS, THEY ARE VULNERABLE TO CRIME AND EXPLOITATION. MOST PROFESSIONALS VIEW RUNAWAYS AS HEALTHY JUVENILES IN CRISIS WHO ARE EXPRESSING COMMON ADOLESCENT FRUSTRATIONS IN A SPECIFIC AND FRIGHTENING WAY. INTERVENTION INVOLVES PROVISION OF TEMPORARY SHELTER AND FAMILY COUNSELING. ALTHOUGH FEDERAL PROGRAMS FOR RUNAWAYS HAD BEEN DISCUSSED SINCE 1970, THE RUNAWAY YOUTH ACT WAS NOT PASSED UNTIL 1974 AS PART OF THE JUVENILE JUSTICE AND DELINQUENCY PREVENTION ACT AND WAS THE ONLY PART OF THAT PROGRAM GIVEN TO PRIVATE AGENCIES EXPERIENCED IN HANDLING RUNAWAYS ON LOW BUDGETS, EXISTING PROGRAMS OPERATED BY FORMER 'HIPPIES' RECEIVED ASSISTANCE. OUT OF THE 123 RUNAWAY CENTERS LOCATED ACROSS THE COUNTRY, 66 RECEIVED OYD GRANTS IN FISCAL 1975. THE ACT EXPIRES AFTER FISCAL 1977, AND SUPPORTERS ARE SEEKING RENEWAL WITH INCREASED APPROPRIATIONS. RUNAWAY CENTERS ALSO RECEIVED FUNDS FROM OTHER SOURCES, INCLUDING LOCAL GOVERNMENTS AND COMMUNITY GROUPS. A REVIEW OF OYD DATA SHOWS THAT RUNAWAY CENTERS PROVIDE ALL SERVICES MANDATED BY THE ACT AND ARE FILLED TO CAPACITY ALMOST ALL YEAR. ALTHOUGH THE PROGRAMS PROBABLY DO NOT PREVENT DELINQUENCY BECAUSE FEW RUNAWAYS ARE GUILTY OF ANY CRIMINAL ACTS, THEY DO HELP ALIENATED YOUTHS FROM MIDDLE CLASS FAMILIES RESOLVE PROBLEMS WITHOUT RESORTING TO THE LAW ENFORCEMENT SYSTEM. THEY ALSO FOSTER ALTERNATIVE SOCIAL SERVICES WHICH PROVIDE NEEDED LOCAL SERVICES WITH LITTLE BUREAUCRACY AND MINIMAL FUNDS. THUS, FEDERAL COMMITMENT TO THE RUNAWAY PROGRAM SHOULD CONTINUE AND EVEN INCREASE IN THE FUTURE. THE APPENDIXES CONTAIN 15 REFERENCES, BUDGET FIGURES FOR HEW GRANT PROGRAMS, A MAP OF RUNAWAY CENTERS, A TABLE SHOWING FUNDING RESOURCES FOR 123 CENTERS, AND THE TEXT OF THE RUNAWAY YOUTH ACT.
Index Term(s): Program evaluation; Runaway Youth Act of 1974; Runaways; Services effectiveness; US Department of Health, Education, and Welfare
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=69381

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