Homeless Teenagers: A Vulnerable Population

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Homeless Teenagers: Vulnerable Population Introduction Homeless teenagers are a vulnerable population that faces many challenges just in terms of daily existence in addition to their overall development in the transitioning to adulthood. Current studies are reported to indicate that the primary cause of homeless among youth is "family dysfunction in the form of parental neglect, physical or sexual abuse, family substance abuse, and family violence." (Runway & Homeless Youth and Relationship Toolkit, 2009, p.1) Homeless youth are generally defined as "an unaccompanied youth ages 12 and older who are without family support and who are living in shelters, on the streets, in cares or vacant buildings and who are 'couch surfing' or living in other unstable circumstances." (Runway & Homeless Youth and Relationship Toolkit, 2009, p.1) Son (2002) writes that it is "...unknown how many homeless youth are out there. Most of them are not in the child welfare, juvenile justice, or mental health systems, making it difficult to accurately gather statistical data." (p.2) I. Systems Systems that serve the homeless population of teenagers include "foster care and juvenile justice"¦" as well as others." (p.210) Youth that become caught up in the justice system face additional challenges due to the requirement to "pay restitution or follow rules of probation or parole that restrict their activities." (Osgood, Foster, and Courtney, 2010, p.211) Youth that are physically disabled are
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