This website is not being maintained and will be discontinued in November 2017. For Runaway and Homeless Youth information, content can be used for informational purposes or you can contact the National Clearinghouse for Homeless Youth and Families at 301-828-1324. For Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention information, visit the Teen Pregnancy Exchange. For Family Violence Prevention and Services information, visit the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence.
A Functional Approach to Reducing Runaway Behavior and Stabilizing Placements for Adolescents in Foster Care
Clark, H. B.,
Crosland, K. A.,
Year Published: 2008
Research on Social Work Practice
Running away from foster placement can expose youth to harm and often leads to more restrictive placements. These authors describe a functional, behavior analytic approach used to address the runaway behaviors of youth who met criteria for habitually running away. The approach includes assessing the motivations for running, involving the youth in the assessment process, and implementing interventions to enhance the reinforcing value of placements for adolescents. First, the authors present a case study illustrating this approach. Then, they present a study comparing 13 adolescents who ran away frequently and received interventions with a comparison group who had similar patterns of running but received only services as usual. There was a significant reduction in the percentage of days on runaway status for those in the functional group only. The authors discuss the potential benefits of the functional approach for improving safety, permanence, and connections for foster youth. Modified Author Abstract.
rsw.sagepub.com/content/18/5.toc, or https://www.optumhealthnewmexico.com/provider/pdf/RSWP_Runaway_Article.pdf