Runaway and Homeless Youth: New Research and Clinical Perspectives

Runaway and Homeless Youth: New Research and Clinical Perspectives

Stephen J. Morewitz, San Jose State University

Stephen J. Morewitz


This straightforward reference surveys the knowledge base on homeless, runaway, and thrown-away children and adolescents and makes concrete recommendations for policy and practice. It is a comprehensive volume, that covers new state legislation in the U.S. dealing with runaway and homeless youth. The book’s ecological approach grounds readers in the demographics of this diverse population, family and other risk factors for leaving home (and alternative arrangements such as foster care), and the survival skills homeless young people use to sustain themselves. Chapters cover a gamut of physical, psychological, and social problems, from drug abuse to depression to STIs, with special attention paid to the multiple difficulties faced by LGBT street youth and street youths’ experiences with the legal and justice systems.

The author also assesses established and emerging interventions used with runaway youth, and the effectiveness of policy initiatives dealing with improving conditions for youth on the streets and at risk.

Included in the coverage:

  • Runaway youth at the time of their disappearance.
  • Food insecurity and related problems among homeless and runaway youth.
  • Substance use among homeless and runaway adolescents.
  • Runaway and homeless sexual minorities.
  • Court responses to runaway offenses and other juvenile status violations.
  • Street youth in different countries.

Presenting the complex situation as it stands, and with clear suggestions for action, Runaway and Homeless Youth is a valuable resource for family therapists, sociologists, social workers, school administrators, health professionals, police, judges, and other criminal justice professional, along with professionals involved in young people’s well-being and policy-making initiatives.