Community Development, Homelessness, Reports and Publications

State by State Review Details Laws Affecting Unaccompanied Youth

National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty

The National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty has released a new report– Alone Without A Home: A State by State Review of Laws Affecting Unaccompanied Youth – that  looks at the issues the roughly 1.6 million 12-17 year olds who are homeless and without a parent or guardian faces each year. These unaccompanied homeless youth experience a number of unique legal issues that make their lives harder than necessary and act as barriers to them seeking out and/or receiving the services they require.

The report includes a state by state overview of the following 12 legal issues faced by youth:

  1. Definitions of terms pertinent to unaccompanied youth
  2. Youth in need of supervision
  3. Status offenses
  4. Emancipations
  5. Rights of youth to enter into contracts
  6. Healthcare access for unaccompanied youth
  7. Discharge from the Juvenile Justice System
  8. Interstate compact for juveniles
  9. Federal Benefits
  10. Rights of unaccompanied youth to public education
  11. Harboring unaccompanied youth
  12. Services and shelters for unaccompanied youth

The report also features a number of policy recommendations to address these issues and help to protect unaccompanied homeless youth.

For the full report, click here.  


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