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National Homeless Youth Awareness Month

November was first declared as National Homeless Youth Awareness Month in 2007. Since then, November has been a time to acknowledge those children and families experiencing homelessness. As many as 2.5 million youth per year experience homelessness. Along with losing their home, community, friends, and routines as well as their sense of stability and safety, many homeless youth are also victims of trauma. While trying to survive on the streets, youth are exposed to countless dangers, with an increased likelihood of substance abuse, early parenthood, impulsivity, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, and a vulnerability to being trafficked.

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) has compiled a list of helpful resources for parents and caregivers, children and teens, mental health providers, child welfare workers, juvenile justice professionals, and policy makers.

NCTSN Resource

Age-Related Reactions to a Traumatic Event

Type: Fact Sheet

Describes how young children, school-age children, and adolescents react to traumatic events and offers suggestions on how parents and caregivers can help and support them.

NCTSN Resource

Homeless Youth Online Training

Type: e-Learning Course

Provides training and materials for direct care staff working with homeless youth, including staff working in drop-in centers, emergency shelters, transitional living programs, and independent living programs.

NCTSN Resource

Working with Homeless and Runaway Youth

Type: Webinar

Provides statistics on the number and characteristics of homeless youth in the US. This webinar reviews the unique aspects of trauma among runaway and homeless youth and identifies the key treatment implications for this population.

NCTSN Resource

Culture and Trauma Brief: Trauma among Homeless Youth

Type: Fact Sheet

Discusses the challenges traumatized youth face when they are living on the street, including the relationship between trauma and youth homelessness, and offers suggestions for service providers who want to engage these young people in treatment.

NCTSN Resource

Facts on Trauma and Homeless Children

Type: Fact Sheet

Provides background on the issues of trauma among homeless children, including what homelessness looks like in America, the interplay between trauma and homelessness, how programs and services help families exposed to trauma, and providing trauma-specific services.