How to help a runaway

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How to help a runaway

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The National Runaway Safeline is committed to educate the public about the runaway crisis in this country. Imagine 1.6M to 2.8M kids running away from home each year, about 1 in 5. They become very vulnerable to crime and get recruited into the sex trade, something that is of critical importance in this country, not just in other lands. One of the things that we are doing is our runaway prevention curriculum that is available free of charge to schools and community groups across the country. It really raises the issue and helps kids to build resiliency and skills so that they're not going to run from home. The second thing we do is research to indicate what the problem is and what are some of the solutions. The third thing that we are doing is we launch every November a campaign called National Runaway Prevention Month and it’s all about educating the public about this crisis and engaging people to do what they can do in their community to help keep families together and to help prevent the runaway crisis. There’s a great opportunity for everybody to get involved by becoming a street teen member for the National Runaway Safeline. There’s a great kit. You can sign up online at www.1800runaway.org. Do it as a family. Do it as a church group. Do it as an individual by putting up posters with 1800runaway. You could do a Youtube video educating people about the runaway situation, hand out wallet cards to kids that you might see on the street that would need to know about 1800runaway.
TEEN, Parenting Teens, At Risk Youth

Watch Maureen Blaha's video on How to help a runaway...

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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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