FYSB Initiative

Runaway and Homeless Youth & Domestic Violence Collaborative Grants
The FVPSA Program supported efforts in eight States and community-based organizations to design and develop collaborative services to promote collaboration between grantees in two of its related programs: Domestic Violence Programs and Runaway and Homeless Youth (RHY/DV) Programs. While the FVPSA Program focuses on domestic violence prevention and intervention, the RHY/DV Program assists homeless youth by providing shelter and basic necessities, reuniting youth with their families when possible, and aiding the transition to adulthood for older homeless youth who cannot return home. Runaway and homeless youth are particularly vulnerable to dating violence. Many have been raised in abusive households or have experienced neglect, abandonment, or severe family conflict. In turn, youth who come to domestic violence programs, as victims of domestic violence or accompanying parents who seek services may benefit from strong links to community networks of targeted youth programs. This is a challenging intersection area that presents an opportunity to improve services for a population of youth at high risk for experiencing domestic violence (both perpetration and victimization) and to improve cross training and collaboration between domestic violence and youth services providers.

Runaway and street youth may not be reached by traditional, school-based domestic violence prevention and intervention services and may require innovative approaches for outreach, education and support. Grantees are engaged in efforts to reduce adolescent dating violence through:

RHY/DV Providers: Council of Churches of Greater Bridgeport, Bridgeport, CT; Youth In Need, St. Charles, MO; Texas Network of Youth Services, Austin, TX; Hoyleton Youth & Family Services, Hoyleton, IL; Family Violence Prevention Center, Raleigh, NC; Youth Services of Tulsa, Tulsa, OK; LUK Crisis Center, Inc., Fitchburg, MA; and Center for Community Solutions, San Diego, CA.

Grantee Abstracts:

Janus Center and the Center for Women and Family; Bridgeport, CT: | Back to Top

Since 1978 the Janus Center for Youth in Crisis has served children and families in the Greater Bridgeport area.  Opening in 1985 as a safe haven for women, The Center for Women and Family has been a beacon of hope for women and children subjected to domestic violence since 1997.  One of two programs of the Council of Churches that serves children, the Janus Center focus is on serving runaway and homeless youth.  Our primary goal is not only to assist runaway and homeless youth to obtain stability, but to also keep children out of state systems and keep families intact.  By collaborating with the Center for Women and families, we are able to add an educational component that will help reduce the risk factors associated with dating and domestic violence.  In a 36-month period, the Janus Center, along with the Center for Women and families seeks to provide at least 180 youth with shelter and educational services.

The Prevention/Adolescent Dating Violence Program will consist of four main components:

  1. Mobile Crisis Response is a 24-hour crisis hotline and a network of 32 Safe Places and 25 Greater Bridgeport Transit Authority buses, situated in well-known, neighborhood locations where children can get help any time of the day, seven days a week.  Our staff of professionals can be immediately dispatched to assess the situation and develop a plan of action.
  2. Intervention and Support includes short-term, individual and family counseling; conflict resolution; referrals to higher levels of care, as needed; prevention/education through support group sessions; serving as child and family advocates.
  3. Host Home Care consists of placement in one of two community host homes located in Bridgeport and licensed by the Department of Children and Families.  Here runaway and troubled youth can live until the situation has progressed to the point of reunification with families or caretakers.
  4. Education consists of the dissemination of the “Lion Within” program, which educates and provide techniques on identifying the risk factors associated with domestic and dating violence.

Youth In Need and Women’s Support and Community Services; Saint Charles, MO: | Back to Top

The collaboration is between Youth In Need (YIN), an agency committed to serving the Runaway and Homeless Youth (RHY) population, and Women’s Support and Community services (Women’s Support), an agency committed to reducing the impact of sexual and relationship violence on individuals and our community. 

This collaboration will:

  1. Prevent dating violence through coordinated community education and outreach,
  2. Enable agencies and their staff to effectively and efficiently identify youth at risk of dating violence, and
  3. Improve the delivery of responsive, comprehensive interventions to youth and families affected by domestic and/or dating violence.

Project implementation is facilitated by YIN’s Basic Center, Transitional Living Program and Street Outreach program, and the comprehensive services provided by Women’s Support.  The collaboration will yield targeted programming for RHY and older youth in homes affected by domestic violence, in combination with a public health approach to sensitizing youth and the general population to dating violence and healthy relationships.  A partnership between the existing community education and outreach programs Safe Place (YIN) and Project H.A.R.T. (Healthy Alternatives for Relationships Among Teens) at Women’s Support will allow for widespread dissemination of information about healthy relationships, the risks of running away, and where to get immediate help for relationship and family concerns.

Texas Network of Youth Services, Inc. and SafePlace; Austin, TX: | Back to Top

This project is designed to increase the proficiency of Texas runaway and homeless youth programs, to identify and prevent dating violence among youth.  The project will be a joint effort of the Texas Network of Youth Services (TNOYS), a statewide nonprofit organization with a 23-year history of delivery of leadership and training and support services to runaway and homeless youth programs across Texas, and SafePlace, a Texas domestic and sexual violence center that is a nationally recognized leader in the development of resources and training related to dating violence and related issues facing adolescents.

The three-year project will:

  1. Provide trainings to increase awareness and knowledge among Texas Runaway and Homeless Youth (RHY) program staff and their domestic violence partners; use trainings to disseminate a RHY dating violence protocol and the Expect Respect dating violence prevention program, along with other information and resources.  At least 80 persons will be trained, over three years.
  2. Award three mini-grants to Texas RHY programs, to establish community collaborations for preventing teen dating violence.

Activities to develop materials to support the above activities include the following:

  1. Develop a Protocol for Texas runaway and homeless youth (RHY) programs, in order to increase staff capacity to respond effectively to incidents and disclosures of dating violence by youth being served.
  2. Develop a Resource Guide for RHY Dating Violence Prevention, based on efforts of RHY programs to implement or adapt components of the nationally recognized Expect Respect dating violence prevention program.

Hoyleton Youth and Family Services and the Violence Prevention Center of Southwestern Illinois; Hoyleton,
IL: | Back to Top

Hoyleton Youth and Family Services and the Violence Prevention Center of Southwestern Illinois propose a three-year project to design and develop regional collaborative services aimed at youth living at the intersection of the Domestic Violence and Runaway and Homeless Youth communities.  A key assumption is that many of those who experience interpersonal violence are in fact, at-risk of running away or becoming homeless, and that many youth who have runaway or become homeless never seek assistance.  With that in mind, this project will “cast a wide net” in its outreach, seeking to identify these youth while serving the community at large, rather than serving only those who identify themselves as runaway or homeless.

The goal of the Hoyleton/VPC collaboration is to design, implement, and evaluate a model to address and prevent interpersonal and adolescent dating violence among at-risk and runaway and homeless youth within St. Clair and Madison Counties in Illinois.  These counties will serve as the test case area to illustrate the applicability of the approach to similar situations, regardless of the location.

This initiative will serve as a model for domestic and interpersonal violence service and other social service providers for reaching at risk youth in order to stop the cycle of violence from transferring into their adult lives.  There is a symbiotic formula where the key ingredients are domestic violence and homeless youth.  That formula includes the facts that:  3.3-10 million youth witness acts of violence in the home each year; 40% of abusive partners are also abusive to the children; children who grow up in violent homes are exponentially more likely to become victims or abusers in their adult lives; witnessing violence in the home, coupled with the media’s constant barrage of violent imagery, create a normalized view of violence at a very impressionable time one’s life – the violence becomes a reality because these youth believe it to be true.  As a result, many youth runaway from home or “couch-surf” (sleeping at one or more friend’s home over a period of time) to escape the physical and emotional abuse they witness and experience daily.  The parallels are very recognizable.  It is important to address this issue with our youth in a reactive setting so that we may better understand and, in turn, educate service providers on how to be properly proactive against this social ill in the near future.

The approach will involve teen-driven forums to both gauge the problem and gather feedback on the best way to address it, from those directly affected.  The primary prevention strategies are:  to conduct a community awareness campaign to educate the public; educating parents, law enforcement officers, teen employers, service providers, clergy, school social workers and other community members on the warning signs and screening tools used in detecting dating violence; presentations at areas schools and other youth organizations; and through the use of the Peace by Piece – Finding Equality Interpersonal Violence Program.

Haven House and Interact of Wake County, Raleigh,
NC: | Back to Top

Interact provides safety and support to victims and survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in Wake County.  Haven House strengthens the community through programs that produce positive practices for youth and their families, serving over 1,000 Wake County youth per year.

Through the proposed collaborative project, Interact and Haven House seek to improve collaborative efforts in responding to and preventing adolescent dating violence in the homeless and runaway youth population in wake County by increasing our ability to prevent adolescent dating violence among runaway and homeless youth in Wake county and increasing Wake County’s capacity to effectively provide services to homeless and runaway youth at risk of teen dating violence.  We will achieve these goals, and benefit thousands of Wake County’s runaway and homeless youth for years to come.

Youth Services of Tulsa and Domestic Violence Intervention Services; Tulsa, OK: | Back to Top

Youth Services of Tulsa (YST) in partnership with Domestic Violence Intervention Services (DVIS) are proposing to reduce the occurrence of adolescent dating violence through collaborative community awareness activities, cross-training of domestic violence workers and runaway and homeless youth workers and other youth workers and by developing model protocols and interventions for youth workers dealing with adolescent dating violence.

A major component of this proposal is to increase awareness of the problem especially with teens, parents and youth workers by providing education and training.  What is unique about the training is that it will be developed with teens and teens will also serve as presenters.

Another critical element in dealing with teen dating violence is to ensure youth receive the assistance and care they need when it happens.  This proposal will ensure that developing and implementing model interventions provide consistent and effective responses.

LUK Crisis Center, Inc. and Battered Women’s Resources, Inc.; Worcester, MA: | Back to Top

LUK Crisis Center, Inc (LUK), in partnership with Battered Women’s Resources, Inc. (BWRI), proposes to design and develop collaborative services to address the interaction of services for youth with respect to domestic violence and runaway and homeless youth communities.  Both agencies have extensive histories of working with these populations, and have worked together on various projects in North Central Massachusetts for many years.  LUK has been funded by the HHS to provide a Basic Center Program since 1993.

LUK and BWRI will develop the North Central Massachusetts Violence Intervention Project (VIP) to address the needs of homeless and at-risk youth who may be or will become victims and/or perpetrators of dating violence.  Building on our existing infrastructures, VIP will include data collection and analysis, cross training between the two agencies as well as with the community, the development and dissemination of a brief screening tool, and prevention and intervention strategies.  VIP will serve the 27 cities and towns of North Central Massachusetts. 

The VIP program will include the following components: 

  1. Data Collection 
  2. Cross training
  3. Screening Tools
  4. Prevention/Intervention
  5. Process Evaluation/Documentation

The overall object of the North Central Massachusetts Violence Prevention Project (VIP) is to design, develop, and implement collaborative services to address the intersection of services for runaway, homeless and at-risk youth in regards to their victimization and potential for victimization in dating relationships.  VIP, jointly implemented by LUK and BWRI, will identify the extent of the needs of this population in North Central Massachusetts, and work together to increase the resilience of at-risk youth and their families to the effects of victimization.  One of the North Central Area’s strengths has been the various collaborative efforts that have occurred over the years among providers; VIP is one example of partnering agencies working together to create and sustain an integrated approach to providing services to local youth and families most in need.

LUK will conduct both process (conduct) and outcome (results) evaluations of VIP.  The outcome evaluation will examine the extent to which targeted youth achieve desired results and the extent to which the collaborative efforts of LUK and BWRI provide information to advance our understanding of the intersection of domestic violence and runaway and homeless youth.  The process evaluation will assess both the achievement of milestones in the implementation plan and the learnings achieved in the implementation of VIP.  Results from VIP activities will be shared with the local community of Central Massachusetts and beyond.  Best practices, evidence-based dating violence prevention curricula and other materials relevant to DV in youth in general, and runaway, homeless and street youth in particular, will be added to the Resource Library at the Central Massachusetts Center for Healthy Communities to allow access for the community.

Center for Community Solutions & San Diego Youth & Community Services; San Diego, CA: | Back to Top

Center for Community Solutions (CCS) and San Diego Youth & Community Services (SDYCS) propose to establish a collaborative model that will combine system change, organization capacity building and expanded/enhanced service delivery activities to address the related issues of domestic violence, running away and homelessness among youth within San Diego County.  Called the Connections Initiative in recognition of the intersecting nature of the key issues, the cornerstone of the Connections Initiative will be the collaboration between CCS and SDYCS, the first collaboration of its kind in the region.

By building upon existing programs and services as opposed to starting new ones, the Connections Initiative will optimize use of grant resources and increase the potential that activities and benefits will be sustained beyond the life of the grant.  Existing programs and services that will be enhanced by the Connections Initiatives are: 

Objectives

  1. Increase collaborations between DV & RHY service agencies in San Diego County.
  2. Increase knowledge and skills of DV and RHY management and front line staff regarding the interrelatedness of DV and RHY.
  3. Enhance services to RHY to include strategies specific to relationship violence prevention and intervention.
  4. Enhance DV prevention and intervention services to include a focus on the interrelated issues of DV & RHY.
Notice of Federal Funding and Federal Disclaimer
This Web site is funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Family and Youth Services Bureau. Neither the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services nor any of its components operate, control, are responsible for, or necessarily endorse this Web site (including, without limitation, its content, technical infrastructure, and policies, and any services or tools provided).
Home   |   Key Terms & Resources   |   Common Ground   |   A Look at Each Field   |   Partnerships   |   Services   |   Success   |   FYSB Initiative