Unaccompanied Youth: Overview
The authors of this Issue Brief present an overview of homeless youth in the United States. They begin by describing family and community factors that often lead to youth homelessness. Family factors include domestic violence; physical, sexual, and emotional abuse; youth or parental substance abuse; and/or parental incarceration. Community factors include limitations within the child welfare, juvenile justice, mental health, health care, and housing support systems. After describing these contributing factors to youth homelessness, the authors present statistics on the incidence of unaccompanied youth, as well as demographic characteristics of the homeless youth population. The authors conclude by identifying and describing both short- and long-term consequences of youth homelessness in the areas of health, education, and employment. The brief includes a glossary of terms.