The runaway crisis in the United States

Watch Video: The runaway crisis in the United States by Maureen Blaha, ...
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The runaway crisis in the United States

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The runaway situation in our country is a crisis. There are between 1.6 and 2.8 million youth that will run from home this year before their 18th birthday. That's about one in five. They come from all cultural backgrounds. They come from all socioeconomic backgrounds. This is a universal problem that really hits all families. It is about 50 percent boys and 50 percent girls that run from home, although, girls are more likely to reach out for help. We at the National Runaway Safeline, hand 100,000 calls a year. We are very proud of that, but we know that there are more youth out there that could use our help. We want to make sure that everyone knows about 1-800-runaway.
TEEN, Parenting Teens, At Risk Youth

Watch Video: The runaway crisis in the United States by Maureen Blaha, ...

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Maureen Blaha

NRS Executive Director

Maureen Blaha is the executive director of the National Runaway Safeline (NRS), the federally-designated national communication system for runaway and homeless youth.  Under her leadership the visibility of NRS and awareness of its 1-800-RUNAWAY hotline has grown, while support has steadily increased in both personnel and finances. Several key accomplishments have been realized during Blaha’s tenure including: a program focused on runaway prevention called Let’s Talk: Runaway Prevention Curriculum; a comprehensive trend data report of crisis calls to 1-800-RUNAWAY used to educate and raise awareness about the runaway crisis in America; “Runaway Youth Longitudinal Study 2011” research that identifies the long-term effects of running away as a youth, which can be used to better educate and encourage parents, teachers and other adults to get involved, address the issues, and ultimately prevent a runaway situation; and National Runaway Prevention Month, an annual campaign to increase awareness of the issues facing runaway youth and to educate youth, families and the public about resources available to prevent youth from running away.  Additionally, Blaha has been a featured speaker of the Special Victims Assistance Unit for the FBI (2005 and 2010), was invited to speak to UK parliament to help launch The Children's Society of England's national Safe and Sound Campaign (2005), and represented the runaway population at the groundbreaking White House Conference on Missing, Exploited and Runaway Children (2002).  Blaha was selected as the recipient of the CASA of Cook County 2010 Spirit Award and selected to participate in the Laura and John Arnold Giving Library for high-end donors. Blaha serves on the Interstate Commission for Juveniles, appointed in 2009. 

At Risk Youth, At Risk Youth
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