There are millions of homeless or unaccompanied youth in the United States who lack stable, safe housing and who are not in the care of a parent or a guardian. These unaccompanied and homeless suburban high school students have limited resources and solutions. Most have endured abuse and trauma leaving them at increased risk for further abuse, sexual victimization, chemical addictions, risky behaviors, depression, and suicide if left on the streets. Many of these students need more than just shelter and food to survive; they need an adult caring relationship. Community youth agencies and local school districts have begun collaborating to form host home programs where unaccompanied youth are matched with host homes in their same community and school district, with ongoing case management and support as part of the program. The programs show promise for helping unaccompanied youth to graduate from high school compared to the national graduation rate for homeless youth of 30%. This paper examines the best practices and interventions of these programs as a model for successful intervention with unaccompanied suburban high school students.
Host Homes: Helping Unaccompanied Suburban High School Students Succeed
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