Trauma-informed Care for Street-involved Youth
This book chapter reviews trauma and youth homelessness, discusses specific strategies to implement trauma-informed care in service settings, and provides excerpts of interviews with youth and service providers that illustrate the challenges homeless youth face and how trauma-informed services address their unique needs. Research indicates that trauma is pervasive in the lives of youth who are street involved or homeless and is both a cause and a consequence of homelessness. Homeless youth are vulnerable to victimization and may be plagued by chronic stress, including unmet basic needs, food insecurity, and loss of friends, family members, community, and social supports. This type of chronic and repeated exposure to adversity and trauma leads to serious mental health consequences. In addition, young people with complex trauma may have difficulty engaging with service providers and benefiting from traditional youth services. The chapter concludes with implementation considerations and key messages for practitioners and agencies.