A runaway service facility provides temporary shelter and crisis intervention counseling services to runaways and other youth in crisis. Crisis intervention counseling is also provided for parents and families. Agencies make every effort to encourage family members to participate with youth in counseling.
Runaway programs accept self-referrals and voluntary referrals from youth, caregivers, families, and agencies with youth free to discontinue use of service to any time. Crisis intervention services are available to any youth or parent requesting assistance. All services are free of charge and available on a 24 hour basis.
Runaway programs act to prevent runaway episodes by follow up, aftercare, and preventative activities. Programs involve service linkages with youth serving public and private sector agencies, insuring cooperative relations and effective referrals. The runaway program must have plans for meeting the best interests of the youth involving, whenever possible, both the youth and caregivers. In runaway programs, a unique counselor-client relationship is established, which stresses the qualities of trust and confidentiality. Youth make their own decisions in a supportive environment with appropriate advice as to their alternatives.
Position mouse over each hub city to find program location and contact information.
Each hub serves a 40 mile radius.
Thousands of young people run away from their homes, are asked to leave their homes, or become homeless in the United States each year. Since 1975, under the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974 (JJDPA), as amended, the Federal Government has funded emergency shelter programs for runaway and homeless youth that provide for the immediate needs of these youth and their families and promote family reunification. Unfortunately, however, many young people who are homeless today cannot return to their families. Some have escaped abusive situations; others are the victims of neglect, abandonment, or severe family conflict.
In response to the growing concern for these youth, Congress determined that many young people need long-term, supportive assistance that emergency shelter programs were not designed to provide. As a result, Congress created the Transitional Living Program for Older Homeless Youth (TLP) as part of the 1988 Amendments to the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (RHYA), Title III of the JJDPA. The TLP was modeled after several successful demonstration projects funded in the early 1980s by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Congress assigned administration of the TLP to the HHS. Within HHS, the Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) funded the first TLP projects in 1990.
Today, FYSB continues to fund the Transitional Living Program through the Runaway, Homeless, and Missing Children Protection Act of 2003 (Public Law 108-96), which reauthorizes the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act and provides funding for the organizations and shelters that serve and protect runaway, homeless, missing, and sexually exploited children (to view the act, you must first download and install the free Acrobat Reader, if you have not previously done so). In FY 2003, $36.7 million funded 191 communities to support TLP. This funding will also support the Presidential initiative that created maternity group homes, transitional living programs for young mothers and their children.
The mission of the Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) is to provide national leadership on youth issues and to assist individuals and organizations in providing effective, comprehensive services for youth in at-risk situations and their families. The goals of FYSB programs are to provide positive alternatives for youth, ensure their safety, and maximize their potential to take advantage of available opportunities.
Through the TLP, FYSB supports projects that provide longer term residential services to homeless youth ages 16-21 for up to 18 months. These services are designed to help youth who are homeless make a successful transition to self-sufficient living.
TLP grantees are required to provide youth with stable, safe living accommodations and services that help them develop the skills necessary to move to independence. Living accommodations may be host family homes, group homes, maternity group homes, or "supervised apartments." (Supervised apartments are either agency-owned apartment buildings or "scattered site" apartments, which are single-occupancy apartments rented directly by young people with support from the agency.) TLPs also provide pregnant or parenting youth with parenting skills, including child development, family budgeting, health and nutrition, and other skills to promote their long-term economic independence in order to ensure the well-being of their children.
TLP grantees are required to offer the following services, either directly or by referral:
FYSB solicits applications through an annual Federal Register announcement. Applications are competitively reviewed by peer panels, and successful applicants receive 5-year grants.