Youth Reporting Higher Levels of Economic Problems, Increasingly Dependent on Safety Net of Shelters According to Annual Trend Report

National Runaway Safeline Identifies These Trends Among Additional Means of Survival, Issues Reported and Other Categories of Data Collected From Youth in Crisis

May 07, 2013, 08:00 ET from National Runaway Safeline

CHICAGO, May 7, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Runaway Safeline (NRS) has found that youth in crisis are reporting higher levels of economic problems with an increase of 14 percent over the past year, 15 percent over the last three years and 56 percent over the last 10 years.  In the past year, they report being less able to rely on personal funds (14 percent decrease), employment (9 percent decrease) and friends or family (3 percent decrease) to survive.  Instead, they are turning to shelters for support, a rise of 10 percent over the past year.  


This information is featured in the annual NRS Crisis Connections Trend Report written by Jennifer Benoit-Bryan, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Illinois in Chicago, and released today. It covers crisis calls to 1-800-RUNAWAY from 2002 to 2012, as well as crisis online chats at  – a new service added in 2011 to better connect with the youth NRS serves.

"These insightful trends help determine the best ways to evolve NRS' programs and services to continue to help keep youth safe and off the streets," said Maureen Blaha, NRS executive director.

The NRS Crisis Connections Trend Report also found:

  • There was an 11 percent increase over the last year of youth who were contemplating running away, as well as a 17 percent increase over the past three years and 27 percent increase over the past decade.  "This may be a sign that youth are reaching out for help before the crisis point of running away," said Benoit-Bryan.
  • Family dynamics was the issue most reported in 2012 at 29 percent, followed by a combination of abuse, including neglect, physical, sexual, emotional and verbal abuse at 13 percent. 
  • The largest group of youth in crisis who contacted NRS in 2012 was age 17 at 21 percent, but youth aged 14 had the largest increase (29 percent) in calls and online chats over the last year. 

For more information or to download the full report, visit

SOURCE National Runaway Safeline