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Article

Sanna J. Thompson

Runaway and homeless youth may be viewed as subcategories on a continuum of familial disengagement and residential instability. Runaway youth are typically identified as those who leave or are forced from their homes, often returning in a relatively short time. Homeless youth are those with no stable residence, have limited contact with family, and have become affiliated with the culture of homelessness. This entry provides background on specific policies associated with youth who run away or become homeless. Characteristics of these two groups (runaway and homeless youth) are described in terms of high-risk characteristics, such as educational difficulties, substance abuse, victimization, and trauma. Service options to meet the needs of these youth are described and implications for social work practice discussed.

Article

Sadye L. M. Logan

Georgia L. McMurray (1934–1992) was a tireless advocate and activist on behalf of children and adolescents. She dedicated her life to championing their cause.

Article

Elizabeth T. Gershoff

Youth services are programs, activities, and services aimed at providing a range of opportunities for school-aged children, including mentoring, recreation, education, training, community service, or supervision in a safe environment. The current thrust of youth services is an emphasis on positive youth development. Best practices in youth services include the provision of safety, appropriate supervision, supportive relationships, opportunities to belong, positive social norms, support for efficacy and skill building, and integration of community, school, and family efforts.

Article

Katie Richards-Schuster, Suzanne Pritzker, and Amanda Rodriguez-Newhall

Youth empowerment examines young people’s agency, action, and engagement in change efforts to improve their situations. Its scholarship builds on empowerment constructs and frameworks to focus on the strengths that young people possess as they interact with other individuals and systems in their lives. In particular, youth empowerment rests on a core belief that young people are experts on their lives, with unique perspectives to bring to their communities. Empowerment functions on three core levels, focusing on strengthening individuals’ personal, interpersonal, and political power. This article explores key concepts that underlie personal, interpersonal, and political empowerment, while most deeply examining the core principles, practices, and strategies specific to young people’s political empowerment. Challenges commonly faced when seeking to empower young people are identified as well.

Article

Maryann Syers

William Schwartz (1916–1982) was a social work educator who contributed to the theory and practice of group work as a developmental and rehabilitative force for mutual aid. He was a visiting professor at Fordham University from 1977 to 1982.

Article

Robert G. Hasson III, Jodi Berger Cardoso, and Thomas M. Crea

Children and adolescents fleeing war, hardship, or natural disasters sometimes migrate to the United States without a parent or caregiver present. These children, classified by the U.S. Government as unaccompanied alien children (UAC), present unique needs based on previous exposure to trauma, including family separation. UAC who are not able to be reunited with family members are typically placed in the federally sponsored Unaccompanied Refugee Minor (URM) foster care program. However, a majority of unaccompanied migrant youth are not served by the URM foster care program. An overview of the defining characteristics of unaccompanied refugee minors and unaccompanied migrant youth (UMY) is given along with the history of legislation and policies related to URM and UMY, the pathways in the U.S. immigration system URM and UMY encounter upon their arrival, mental health, legal, and education implications, and challenges with family reunification. Implications for the social work field are presented.

Article

Deborah Bass-Rubenstein

Runaways, throwaways, and homeless youths have always been present in the United States. In recent decades, however, society has become more aware of the problems they face as the problems have become more severe. The effectiveness of new approaches to helping these youths is yet to be determined.

Article

This chapter summarizes literature and research related to advances in direct practice work with adolescents. Social workers are on the forefront of developing and utilizing a variety of evidence-based practices to address complex client and community needs.

Article

Karen M. Staller

Children's rights can refer to moral rights—basic human rights regardless of age or station—and legal rights, those awarded based on chronological age or level of maturity. They are conceptualized in three categories: protection rights (the right to be free from harm and exploitation), provision rights (the right to have their basic needs met), and participation rights (the right to have a say). Children's rights can conflict with family autonomy, and state intervention is based on the common law doctrine of parens patriae. The UN's Convention on the Rights of the Child is the most comprehensive statement of children's rights to date.

Article

Joshua Kirven and George Jacinto

Community healing and reconciliation have been a focus of many nations in response to civil war, genocide, and other conflicts. There have been increasing numbers of high-profile murders of African-American youths in the United States over the past 10 years. This article provides an overview of gun violence and its effects on African-American youths. Sanford, Florida, and Cleveland, Ohio, experienced the murders of Trayvon Martin and Tamir Rice, and the responses of the cities will be highlighted. The two cities provide potential models by communities to address historical injustices in the aftermath of high-profile fatal black male tragedies.

Article

Joshua Kirven

Dr. Jack Otis (1923–2010) was best known for serving as Director of the Office of Juvenile Delinquency and Youth Development during the Kennedy administration and was instrumental in establishing national standards for the accreditation of undergraduate social work education.

Article

Child welfare services in the United States evolved from voluntary “child saving” efforts in the 19th century into a system of largely government-funded interventions aimed at identifying and protecting children from maltreatment, preserving the integrity of families that come to the attention of child welfare authorities, and finding permanent homes for children who cannot safely remain with their families. Since the 1970s, the federal government has played an increasing role in funding and creating the policy framework for child welfare practice. That child welfare services are disproportionately directed toward members of ethnic and racial minorities has been an enduring concern.

Article

Stephen Holloway

George Brager (1922–2003) was a social work educator, administrator, and social activist who worked primarily in New York City. He developed innovative community programs which had national impact and was a founding director of Mobilization for Youth.

Article

Racial disproportionality in out-of-school suspensions (suspensions) is a persistent, multi-level social justice and child well-being issue affecting not only youth, families, and schools but society as a whole. It is a complex, multiple-level social problem that will require an equally complex response. The design of effective remedies will require adequate understanding of the problem as well as the historical and sociocultural contexts in which it emerged and is perpetuated. Progressive educators have offered a number of alternatives to harsh and exclusionary discipline, but research is needed to examine their effectiveness, especially in reducing racial disproportionalities.

Article

Daniel Lebold

Alan Keith-Lucas (1910–1995) served on the faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's School of Social Work from 1950 to 1975. He was internationally known for his unique insights into the needs of children.

Article

Wendy Haight and Min Hae Cho

“Crossover youth” are maltreated youth who have engaged in delinquency. They are of particular concern to child welfare, juvenile justice, and other professionals because of their risks for problematic developmental outcomes. Effective interventions that promote more positive developmental trajectories require an understanding of the various pathways from maltreatment to delinquency. A growing body of research identifies potential risk and protective processes for maltreated youth crossing over into delinquency at ecological levels ranging from the micro to the macro. Most scholarship, however, is not developmental and provides little insight into how children’s emerging capacities relate to their abilities to actively respond to risk or protective processes. Solutions to crossing over are likely to be found in interventions that simultaneously address risk and protective processes across multiple ecological levels and across development. Emerging research suggests that the Crossover Youth Practice Model is one such promising intervention for improving outcomes for maltreated youth.

Article

Sadye L. M. Logan

Miriam Goldforb Dinerman (1925–2010) served on the faculty of Rutgers University School of Social Work (RUSSW) for 31 years and helped to codify health concentration as a significant area of social work practice. She understood early in her career the interdisciplinary nature of the different health and social work professions and worked to educate students in all disciplines about the value of the others.

Article

James R. Reinardy

Gisela Konopka (1910–2003) was a social justice advocate and humanitarian who became nationally and internationally famous as an expert in group work—particularly work targeted to troubled youth—and in research on delinquent adolescent girls.

Article

Larraine M. Edwards

Wilber I. Newstetter (1896–1972) developed specialized training for social workers in youth and group leadership. He established Cleveland's University Settlement, which provided neighborhood outreach services, and became first dean of the School of Social Work, University of Pittsburgh, in 1938.

Article

Sadye L. M. Logan

Tsuguo “Ike” Ikeda (1924–2015) served for more than 30 years as the first Asian American executive director of a non-profit in the United States. He was hired as the first professional director of the Atlantic Street Center, a non-profit social service agency that has been operating since 1910 in Seattle, Washington. Ikeda was a pioneer who built multiracial relations; he was a visionary and a pacesetter, always ahead of his time.