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Providing Clinical Service to Unaccompanied Homeless Youth
Field Educator (2013)
  • Rebecca Mirick
  • Ruth Dean
Work with unaccompanied homeless youth is an increasing focus of social work practice. It is estimated that there are between 204,000 and 406,000 unaccompanied homeless youth (ages 12 to 24) in the United States (Abel, 2010; Homeless Research Institute, 2012). These youth have high rates of substance abuse, suicide (Barczyk & Thompson, 2008), and trauma, both in their homes of origin (Kurtz, Kurtz, & Jarvis, 1991; Rew, 2001; Slesnick, Kang, & Aukward, 2008), and on the streets (Fisher, Florsheim, & Sheetz, 2005). With the recent economic recession, their numbers have increased and their needs have become more urgent than ever (Kidd & Scrimenti, 2004; Levenson, 2011). Work with this population is extremely challenging due to the risks of life on the streets, the transiency and unpredictability of being homeless, and the dangerous behaviors in which youth engage. What do social work interns need as they are trained to work with unaccompanied homeless youth? A recent qualitative study of workers serving homeless youth (Mirick & Dean, 2010) indicates several areas where field educators can support interns in work with these clients.
  • Homeless people,
  • Runaways,
  • Teenagers,
  • Emergency medical care,
  • Suicides & suicide attempts,
  • Children & youth
Publication Date
Spring 2013
Citation Information
Rebecca Mirick and Ruth Dean. "Providing Clinical Service to Unaccompanied Homeless Youth" Field Educator Vol. 3 Iss. 1 (2013)
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Creative Commons license
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons CC_BY-NC International License.