Published: 10-10-2011, 15:20

Runaways - American Education

however, are away from 12 to as many as 50hours, 10% from 52 to 100 hours, and 13% formore than 100; 9% simply disappear.

Most communities have few governmentoperatedfacilities for runaways seeking help,although volunteer groups and some state agenciesmaintain about 2,300 shelters, hotlineagencies, foster-care organizations and othercommunity-based agencies in all 50 states andPuerto Rico. Towns and states with shelters,however, usually do not have enough beds toaccommodate children and youths seeking help.Few have any support services other than bathingfacilities, clean beds, food and fresh clothes.In 1984, Congress enacted the Runaway andHomeless Youth Act, which provided funds forthe Department of Health and Human Servicesto underwrite costs at 260 runaway and homelessyouth shelters across the United States. Withan average of more than 600 students under hisor her care, the average high school guidancecounselor is particularly ill-equipped to identifypotential runaways and provide preventativecounseling or turn a youngster over to a socialworker or psychologist.

(See also homeless children.)