Awareness raised during Runaway Prevention Month
November is National Runaway Prevention Month. This is a public education campaign spearheaded by the National Runaway Switchboard to increase the awareness of the issues facing runaways and educate the public about solutions and the role they play in preventing youths from running away.
It also is intended to increase public awareness of the life circumstances of youths at risk of running away and the need for safe, healthy and productive alternatives for such youths and their families.
The future well-being of the community is dependent on the value placed on young people. Opportunities must be provided for youths to acquire the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to develop into healthy and productive adults. Families and other adults in the community must be enlisted to serve as mentors and role models for young people, guiding them toward wise choices and available resources and supports.
If everyone works together, situations that compel youths to run away from home can be prevented. Prevention means assisting youths in discovering the delicate balance of lifesaving skills: Awareness – what it means to run away and why running away will not solve their problems; Resources – how to build a safety net of trusted people and organizations to turn to for help; Communication – how to speak and listen effectively; and Stress Management – how to reduce or manage stressors and solve problems.
When a youth runs away, the impact is felt throughout the entire community. Everyone, including individuals, local businesses, community groups, teachers, elected officials and human-service agencies – are encouraged to participate in National Runaway Prevention Month. Working together to identify resources and to help youths develop life skills can make the difference between a youth running away or a youth finding needed resources.
Tahoe Youth and Family Services staff know that preventing youths from running away is possible, but only when the entire community steps forward in support of their young people. Youths and families need to know that there are options and alternatives to running away from home and living on the streets. This is the mission of the outreach and drop-in center staff at Tahoe Youth and Family Services.
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