2016 National Runaway Safeline Crisis Contacts Report
This report provides key information on the thousands of youth in crisis who contacted the National Runaway Safeline (NRS) in 2016. In addition to the data collected by NRS during interactions with people who contact the Safeline, the report also comments on and analyzes the data to identify trends and illuminate reasons youth contacted NRS. NRS responded to 29,806 inquiries from youth and adults seeking help and information. Almost 75 percent of contacts were youth, 9 percent identified themselves as parents, and 6 percent said they contacted NRS about a friend. Twenty-eight percent of crisis contacts were about youth on the street, down from 56 percent of contacts in 2011, reflecting a trend of more youth seeking help before they are in a dangerous situation. Of contacts regarding youth on the street, 5,446 were depending on friends and relatives, 715 on shelters and soup kitchens, and 562 on employment. Panhandling and engaging in survival sex were also listed as means of survival on the street, with 180 and 106 reports, respectively. Crisis contacts reported many issues, including family dynamics (22,592 reports), emotional and/or verbal abuse (6,221 reports), and physical abuse or assault (4,395 reports). The Safeline provided numerous services and referrals in 2016, such as facilitating conference calls between youth and youth-serving organizations (2,436), relaying messages between parents or guardians and children (71), arranging conference calls between parents or guardians and children (519), and issuing 393 bus tickets through Greyhound’s Home Free program. Most contacts learn about NRS via the Internet (67 percent) or word of mouth (11 percent).