Service and Policy Considerations When Working With Highly Mobile Homeless Youth: Perspectives From the Frontlines

Authors: 
Aykanian, A.
Type: 
Journal Article
Year Published: 2018
Journal Name: 
Children and Youth Services Review
Volume: 84

Abstract: 

This journal article describes a qualitative study that explores homeless service providers' experiences working with geographically mobile homeless youth in an area comprising small cities, suburban towns, and rural communities. The author conducted in-depth interviews with eight service providers in New York's Capital Region. This region is the mid-eastern part of the state, with the City of Albany at its center, and stretches across more than 5,000 miles. The analysis centered on how providers understand the mobility of homeless youth and how the homeless service system impacts this mobility. The participants described mobility as an impulsive coping strategy, a process greatly influenced by service system and policy limitations, and a phenomenon that challenges traditional engagement strategies. While mobility is most often framed as a lifestyle choice or a form of coping for homeless youth, this study reveals how the homeless service system and local policies play key roles in producing mobility. The study’s findings suggest opportunities for strengthening the service system through trauma-informed programming and policy, increased coordination with government entities, and assessing gaps in key services. (author abstract modified)

Availability: 
Full-text article available for free download at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0190740917307533
Accession Number: 
25524
Service and Policy Considerations When Working With Highly Mobile Homeless Youth: Perspectives From the Frontlines | National Clearinghouse on Homeless Youth & Families

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