Youth homelessness is a topic few people care to discuss, especially those young people who are caught up in it because of the stigma attached to it. Nevertheless, it is a challenging reality that many youths face.
Homeless teens and young adults are left to fend for themselves in a subculture where exploitation and abuse are rife. While there is plenty to say about helping young people after they become homeless, what can we do to prevent it from happening at all?
Keeping young people at home
Too often, young people are forced to leave home because of relationship issues with the adults who care for them. For example, teens who live with drug-addicted parents might choose to run away to escape their circumstances.
Some parents are so stressed out by trying to survive financially that they become estranged from their teenagers, who feel that life would be better if they leave the house. Physical, emotional, and sexual abuse by a parent or other adult will also drive young people out of their family homes.
Early intervention by multiple stakeholders is necessary to ensure that young people’s relationships with caregivers are sound. This could include parenting skills classes for adults who care for at-risk youth. They might not know how to deal with the challenges of raising a teen and need support and advice.
Financial assistance would mean that parents do not need to work multiple jobs, giving them time to building meaningful relationships with their children. Intervention by law enforcement in the case of substance abuse by parents is often heavy-handed. Parents should be given a chance to go to rehab before they being jailed on drug charges. Reporting abuse needs to be easier, including making the police and other authorities accessible to young people.
Post foster care support
There are many free essay examples on youth homelessness on https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/homelessness/ to study if you plan to address this topic in a university essay. Many of them have to do with the at-risk, vulnerable youth who emerge from the foster care system ill-equipped to face the realities of adult life. By viewing these essay samples, you could get some inspiration for writing an essay about the causes of youth homelessness, options for preventing it, and how to address it when it happens. Your input based on what you have learned in your studies and written in an essay from a student’s perspective could yield suggestions that authorities might take on board.
Children age out of the foster care system at age 18, and there is little support awaiting them. With little chance of pursuing an education or finding a job where they earn enough money to be financially independent, they become homeless. It could take the form of facilities that provide accommodation and meals to help young people find their feet in the adult world or attend college.
Once employed, these young people should pay their way so that they learn financial responsibility. Alternatively, they could qualify for financial aid until they have a sustainable income.
Youth mental health and substance abuse facilities
Many young people leave home because they have mental health problems, such as depression, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia. There are insufficient mental healthcare professionals and facilities to treat these young people, whose families often cannot afford expensive treatments and medication.
Once on the streets, they might turn to substance abuse to self-medicate, leading to their condition worsening. There are not enough rehab centers to help these young people, and they fall through the cracks.
The importance of school
Teachers require more training to address issues that their students might be facing. This includes noticing the signs of abuse and neglect, not only through a student’s physical appearance but also through their behavior, the contents of their writing, and reading between the lines of what teens tell them about their home lives.
It is impossible to manage this when teachers have too many students and are consumed by completing a curriculum rather than focusing on their learners’ individual needs. School districts will need to pay extra guidance counselors and social workers to be on standby to help teens in distress.
Putting measures in place to prevent youth homelessness would mean cooperation from many role players, including education districts, law enforcement, social services, and community support organizations. Getting them all onboard in a coordinated effort to prevent youth homelessness is a gargantuan task that would require cutting through several layers of bureaucracy. Ways to get them to pull together should be a priority for everyone so that no young person finds themselves homeless.
Emma Rundle works as an architectural engineer for a construction company and freelances as an academic writer. She’s a skilled writer adept at helping students who are struggling with their architectural and engineering coursework, essays, and dissertations. She likes cooking Italian food, meditating, and mountain biking in her spare time.
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