• July/August 2015
  • Vol. 16, No. 6

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Report Provides Data on Homeless Youth

A 2015 brief from Child Trends reports that homelessness among youth in the United States is increasing. Using data counting homeless children who are enrolled in school and homeless children served in shelters, this study found that nearly 1.3 million students were reported to be homeless during the 2012–2013 school year. However, that number may not include children who were neither enrolled in school nor being served at shelters. There is an increased concern for the welfare and well-being of these children who are more likely to experience negative conditions such as:

  • Chronic health concerns
  • Behavioral problems
  • Excessive school suspensions and expulsions
  • Separation from parents

A homeless youth is defined in this report as someone who:

  • Does not have access to a consistent nighttime residence
  • Utilizes an atypical nighttime residence such as a car or public/private place
  • Lives in a private or public shelter
  • Lives in a place unintended for human habitation
  • Lacks the resources to obtain and maintain housing
  • Is limited in sustaining housing due to chronic physical, mental, or behavioral disorders

This report also provides research-based evidence that recorded differences in homelessness among youth by living situation, racial and ethnic backgrounds, sex, and age. Access the full report, entitled Homeless Children and Youth, on the Child Trends website at http://www.childtrends.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/112_Homeless_Children_and_Youth.pdf (357 KB).

Related Items

Children's Bureau Express spotlighted the relationship between housing insecurity and child welfare involvement in the March 2015 issue. For a self-assessment tool related to shelter employees creating safe and developmentally appropriate spaces for young children, see the article "Early Childhood Self-Assessment Tool for Family Shelters" in this issue of CBX.

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