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Running Away from Foster Care: What Do We Know and What Do We Do?
Year Published: 2015
Journal of Child and Family Studies
Running away is a challenging problem among youth in the foster care system that puts the safety of the child at risk. Given the severity of the problem, these authors say it is important to understand the phenomenon and seek solutions. In this paper, they examine the literature to determine what is known about youth running away from foster care placements and identify strategies that have been used to reduce runaway behavior. The authors begin by describing how running away has been defined within the child welfare system and what is known about the prevalence of runaway behavior among youth in foster care. Then, they consider risk factors related to running away, the ramifications for youth who run away, and motivations for running. Finally, they suggest strategies that can be helpful in efforts to prevent or reduce running, including promising research that uses a behavioral functional assessment and intervention approach to decrease running and stabilize placements. Modified Author Abstract.