Federally Supported Centers Provide Needed Services for Runaways and Homeless Youths

IPE-83-7: Published: Sep 26, 1983. Publicly Released: Sep 26, 1983.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed activities under the Runaway and Homeless Youth Program authorized by Title III of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974.

In summary, findings by GAO were generally favorable. The youths who were served by the 17 centers visited by GAO and the services offered by those centers appeared to conform with what was anticipated by the legislation. The youths themselves, parents, staff, and community service personnel interviewed by GAO had favorable views of the program's importance and usefulness. GAO believes that more guidance is required from the Secretary of Health and Human Services with respect to the priorities that should be given to aftercare services versus crisis intervention, outreach efforts for youths at risk on the streets versus referred youths, and activities that develop coping and living skills versus those that provide unstructured free time.

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