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Homeless Youth in the United States: Recent Research Findings and Intervention Approaches

Report Acceptance Date: 
September 2007 (33 pages)
Posted Date:   
December 31, 2008

Paul A. Toro, PhD, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
Amy Dworsky, PhD, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Patrick J. Fowler, MA, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI

Disclaimer: The paper presents the views and opinions of the respective author(s) and does not necessarily represent the views, positions, and policies of the federal government.

In this paper, the authors cite research indicating that youth may be the single age group most at risk of becoming homeless, yet comparatively little research has been done in the past decade on this vulnerable population. Some important progress has been made, including longitudinal studies on youth “aging out” of foster care. After reviewing the characteristics of homeless youth, the authors review recent research findings on the homeless youth population and interventions developed to address their housing and service needs. These include interventions directed at youth themselves (education, employment, social skills training) as well as family-focused strategies. The authors conclude with future directions for both research and practice.