There are many benefits for implementing family intervention for runaway and homeless youth such as:
- Ending a homelessness episode;
- Having a housing destination for a youth;
- Improving relationships and strengthening a family;
- Increasing the potential of a youth having positive outcomes; and
- Mitigating future runaway or throwaway episodes.
As part of Family Reunification Month the Alliance hosted a webinar on family intervention that discusses the importance of family intervention, practices used to reunify and connect homeless youth with their parents, as well as the Support to Reunite, Involve, and Value Each Other (STRIVE) model. The webinar features myself, Tania Pryce of Youth Services of Tulsa, and Dr. Norweeta Milburn of UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior.
Family intervention is a strategic intervention to link unaccompanied runaway and homeless youth, regardless of age, to their family. Family intervention is an umbrella term that can include discrete strategies such as family reunification, family connecting and family finding. Aftercare services can be a form of family intervention that is provided to a youth and their family, after a youth has exited a program. The purpose is to provide a youth and their family with additional supports and resources such as referrals to community providers, and financial assistance to facilitate a youth’s self-sufficiency and/or to maintain the youth in the home. The goal of family intervention can be to return a youth to his or her family, or to connect him or her to a caring adult, or to provide a family with additional resources after a youth has exited a program to keep the family intact.