The value of runaways having someone to talk to

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The value of runaways having someone to talk to

There isn't a lot of research on this population, but we do know a couple of things. One thing we know, is that anywhere from 1.6 to 2.8 million kids will run away this year, before their 18th birthday. That translates into about one in five. Some of the other research that we've been able to do also talks about when kids run from home or have been thrown out of their home. What are the barriers to reach out for help? Some of what kids have told us is, that they are able to survive on their own. They might not really think that they need help, but when they do recognize that they need help, what they really want is to be able to talk to somebody that they think cares, and somebody they feel they can trust. So despite that proliferation of social media, in that crisis situation, kids really want to talk to somebody.
TEEN, Parenting Teens, At Risk Youth

See Maureen Blaha's video on The value of runaways having someone to talk to...


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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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