Limited research has addressed reunification of runaway youths with their families following an emergency shelter stay; however, recent studies have shown that those who reunify with their families following a shelter stay have more positive outcomes than those relocated to other residences. This study evaluated differences between two samples of runaway youth utilizing youth emergency shelters in New York (n = 155) and Texas (n = 195) and identified factors associated with reunification among these two groups of adolescents. Less than half (43.7%) of the youths were reunited with their families. Among New York runaway youths, those who had lived primarily with someone other than a parent before shelter admission, were physically abused, or neglected were less likely to return home. Among youths admitted to emergency shelter services in Texas, those with longer shelter stays, living primarily with someone other than a parent before shelter admission, or being pregnant or a parent were less likely to reunify. This study provides valuable information concerning family reunification following shelter service use; however, additional research is needed to delineate youth, family, and shelter system factors that distinguish successful from unsuccessful reunification over an extended period of time.
Thompson, Sanna J.; Windsor, Liliane Cambraia; and Zittel-Palamara, Kim
"Family Reunification among Two Groups of Runaway Adolescents Utilizing Emergency Shelters,"
Journal of Family Strengths: Vol. 8
, Article 9.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.library.tmc.edu/jfs/vol8/iss1/9